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Dealtown Casino Hotel and Retirement Village Initiative

Billion Dollar Solar Farm OR a Casino Resort for Dealtown…

Chatham-Kent realtor, Brian Keenan the self-appointed Chairman of the Dealtown Casino Initiative (DCI) says, “The Ontario Government has a ready-made billion dollar site suitable for a casino and retirement resort, but maybe they don’t want it discovered!”  Instead, they are rushing to dispose of this asset for less than a tenth of a penny on the dollar of what it’s worth to build today.  In all likelihood this sprawling 235 acre Lake Erie waterfront resort property with its 16 mint-condition buildings totaling 650,000 sq ft of floor space will be sold this month for its scrap value. Once demolished, another tax payer subsidized Green Energy solar farm will be erected on the historic site if the deal is not stopped.

Ironically, Finance Minister, Dwight Duncan who is on a mission to “maximize profits” passes by this stately resort every time he returns to his home ridding from his perch at Queens Park.  The property in question is known as the Southwestern Regional Centre (SWRC) and it was built with tax dollars in the early 60s.  At its peek, this self-contained resort catered to the daily needs of 1200 guests and employed more than 600 local residences.  It is the newest of three such facilities in Ontario that were deemed surplus by OG and ordered disposed of.  Last year the first of these billion dollar facilities, and a larger one at that, was sold for the tidy sum of $100,000 in Smith Falls to a developer.  

“We don’t need a 235 acre solar farm on prime recreational waterfront real estate in Chatham-Kent!” says Keenan, who prepared a detailed plan to transform this stately facility into an appropriately named resort called the “Dealtown Casino Hotel Resort and Retirement Village”.  The plan would require NO TAXPAYER DOLLARS and would be built with $200M of investment capital from recognized leaders in the North American hospitality and gaming industry.  It would ultimately employ 1900 workers from Chatham-Kent, Essex and Middlesex counties and generate another 1400 indirect jobs to service the resort and a further 700 induced jobs which experts say will result from the spending power of these workers.  According to Mayor Randy Hope of CK, the idea received a “cool reception” when he presented it to officials at OLG.

That is like the Ontario Government selling off Ontario Place to Samsung, its Green Energy partner, to build a giant wind and solar farm on our beautiful Lake Ontario waterfront. On the other hand, maybe that really is the government’s plan? Could it be that the suggestion to put the Toronto Casino at Ontario Place is just a ploy to rally opposition to that idea in favour of another location like Woodbine Racetrack? That would certainly leave Ontario Place available for one of their Green Energy initiatives. For as you know, Ontario Place is already the home of the province’s first wind farm.

If it’s a casino that the minister wants and needs to “maximize profits” then Dealtown is a better, a more logical and a more economical choice for its location.  Those 3,000 new jobs are only a quarter of those lost in CK in the past decade; but they will be a start to a new life and a new heart for the community, not to mention the tax revenue and casino profits the Dealtown Casino Initiative will generate for OG.

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By Brian Keenan



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