NICHOLS, N.Y. (WENY) -- The ribbon was officially cut Friday afternoon, unveiling a brand new hotel at Tioga Downs Casino.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, along with other state and local leaders, rang in the event--calling it yet another piece of the puzzle for the tourist destination.
"I think the product came out great," says Owner Jeff Gural. "If it turns out to be a financial success, that's okay--that would be nice. But i want it to be a product people are proud of."
The hotel, which has been years in the making, now includes 161 rooms and spans six floors. Also -- a brand new event center, full-service spa, restaurant and three swimming areas.
"This place is designed to attract people from outside the area who are hopefully coming here to visit other attractions," says Gural. "Corning Glass, Watkins Glen, Owego is a beautiful little town. So I think hopefully, if everything comes together, it really can make a difference in the community."
The grand-opening comes just a week after talk of disappointing sales in three upstate casinos. Officials say Tioga Downs is one of the casinos that has not met revenue projections.
"The only person that really impacts is me as the owner of the place," says Gural. "I thought I was going to make a lot of money, but that's not going to happen. Actually I thought the projections were a little inflated, and to be honest with you, I think the jury is still out because we're going to see what the impact of the hotel is."