SARATOGA COUNTY, NY – Spread over 146 pages, the Empire State Development Corporation's report on Mt. McGregor outlines a number of possibilities for the future of the soon-to-be-shuttered state prison.
"They're logical reuses, tourism, recreation, health care," Wilton Town Supervisor Arthur Johnson said Monday.
"This gives a good snapshot of what the current facilities and properties look like," Adirondack Gateway Council CEO Ed Bartholomew said. "Some of the buildings are in fairly decent shape, some of the buildings will probably be bulldozed down.”
Among the redevelopment options listed as possible is a Las Vegas-style casino, an idea first brought forward by Moreau Town Supervisor Preston Jenkins last month.
"When we started this we assumed it was a long shot and I'd say it's still probably a long shot," Jenkins said.
Less than 10 percent of the roughly 1,200-acre property is currently developed, with the rest consisting of forest land. A majority of the wooded land is expected to be absorbed by neighboring Moreau State Park.
Many have expressed interest in preserving and perhaps expanding the historic Grant's Cottage, which sits adjacent to the prison.
"Many people fought in the Civil War from New York state so let's utilize this historical site," Bartholomew said.
While each potential redevelopment plan differs, there is one thing officials hope to see no matter what: the creation of new jobs.
"We're obviously losing 300 jobs there," Johnson said.
"I think a full casino, depending on the size and how big it goes would be anywhere from 1,000 to 2,000 employees," Jenkins said.
Officials view the report as phase one of the redevelopment. The next step is to reach out to the private sector to see where their interests lie.
"We're really excited about the possibility,” Jenkins said. “Now will it happen? That's a very good question."
"I think it has really a good potential for reuse and I hope some private developers see it that was as well," Johnson said.