According to Marcia Pobzeznik’s front-page article in today’s Newport Daily News, difficulties and changes have nearly doubled the cost of the Twin River casino under construction in Tiverton, from the projected $75 million to $140 million. It has apparently also increased in size:
[Twin River Chairman John] Taylor said before the tour that the casino will be 95,000 square feet.
“It was 85,000 but it will now be 95,000 square feet,” he said. “It will all be in the front of the house; there’s 10,000 extra square feet.”
Susan Gill, vice chairwoman of the town Planning Board and the administrative officer to the board, said Wednesday afternoon that the board approved a plan for a 77,500-square-foot casino.
According to casino spokeswoman Patti Doyle, the difference is a mezzanine that was missed in earlier projections as well as more walking space. The number of slots and table games has not changed… at least not yet. Additional space would seem likely to allow for the possibility of additional games in the future.
On the positive side, Tiverton residents may benefit by having the first crack at jobs working for Twin River, with local-only job fairs starting next month. With the size and cost of the casino growing after its initial approval, taxpayers may wonder why the town would be willing to give it any additional tax benefits, like a stabilization agreement.