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  • Developers Plan to Build Casino in Bethlehem

    The $200,000 model of the slots casino proposed in Bethlehem sprawls 16 feet across the first floor of City hall, drawing crowds who want to learn more about the $879 million vision for the old Bethlehem Steel plant.

    It is a plain-paper plan of 56 acres of the vacant land that has some city officials excited that the Las Vegas Sands Corporation plans are on its way to becoming a reality. The developers submitted a sketch plan this month for the project's first phase.

    The Planning Commission's review of the plans, scheduled for August 17, will kick off formal feedback on the project. While officials have listened to dozens of hours of testimony on whether gambling should come to Bethlehem, this will be the first the discussion will focus on the project's look. The public will also get a chance to comment at the meeting.

    The plans are the first phase of the 120-acres site slated to become an entertainment complex. Other parts of the plan that have been discussed are SteelStax, a two-building complex featuring a 2,500-seat concert hall; a new PBS-39, WLVT-TV station; and the National Museum of Industrial History.

    The sketch of the $350 million first phase puts on paper what Sands BethWorks Gaming, a partnership that includes Nevada-based Las Vegas Sands, has been promising for more than a year.

    In addition to the sketch plans, the public may soon get to comment on zoning issues. The city expects to receive a request to add gaming as a permitted use at the former Steel plant. 700 residents gathered on two nights to discuss whether the city should ban gambling there.

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