As soon as a Rochester development company made it publicly known it wants to create a casino resort complex near Thruway Exit 23 on the outskirts of Albany, the worrywarts took to local and social media with long lists of concerns.
However, a group of 40 influential local business owners has quickly put together something called the E23 Business Alliance to support Flaum Management Company's casino project.
While some fears have been expressed about increases in taxes, strain on public infrastructure and potentially siphoning off business from existing restaurants and lodging venues, many successful owners of such businesses are showing open arms as shown in a Tuesday announcement.
Among the E23 Business Alliance leadership is Angelo Mazzone, owner of Mazzone Hospitality and its many restaurants and food services (Angelo's 677 Prime, Prime at Saratoga National, Glen Sanders Mansion, Tala, Aperetivo Bistro, etc.). Other restaurateurs among the membership:
Matt Baumgartner (Bombers Burrito Bar and Wolff’s Biergarten)
Dominick Purnomo (dp: An American Bistro and Yono’s Restaurant)
Mickey Blanchfield (Beff's Restaurant)
Dave Hostig (Normanside Country Club and its restaurant One Five Six)
The Albany Common Council is tentatively scheduled to vote May 5 whether to formally support the casino. All applicants for one of four upstate casino licenses must have support from the host community. The application deadline is June 30.
"E23 can be a significant piece of Albany's bright future," Mazzone said in a prepared statement. "We'll see an increase in tourism, and jobs, and with those increases come many benefits."