Remember back when the powers that be cooked up this casino plan, and they assured us that the gaming halls wouldn’t simply be ugly-ass slots barns. They assured us that the casinos would be all gussied up like those in Las Vegas, and would have swanky amenities like Stephen Starr (or at least Stephen Starr-esque) restaurants. Then when SugarHouse finally came to fruition, all those assertions proved to be nothing more than a well-played hand of blind man’s bluff. You’ll likely find better drinking and dining options at a Turnpike rest stop than those offered at SugarHouse. And even with an expansion seemingly in the works, it’s doubtful the food and drinks situation will improve.
In fact that entire expansion plan, which is supposed to blow out the gaming floor and make good on the promise of restaurants worth spending your hard-earned dough in, seems to be getting shakier by the minute, especially with an epic power struggle between the casino’s owners going on behind the scenes. Local investors say they deserve to be in charge of making decisions for the casino, while billionaire Neil G. Bluhm, who built and operates SugarHouse says the beef is over a 25 percent dividend that their $80 million equity investment earns.
The tussle has put the expansion efforts on hold. If, when and how it all plays out remains to be seen. But until then, we’ll have crappy gas station grub and light beer to keep us all happy.