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Old 05-25-2010, 01:48 PM
2 posts, read 2,716 times
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The Bethlehem Sands has done a lot for Bethlehem- I just hope it can continue. I attend classes in that area, and I am amazed at how many new stores, shops and resturaunts are opening up.

I was pretty negative about the thought of a Casino in that area, and afraid that it would draw the "wrong kind" of people- but the opposite seems to have happened.

The only downside I have seen at all has been an increase in traffic- which is frustrating, but can only mean that there is money being made for someone!
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Old 05-30-2010, 01:02 PM
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Just like the others, I wasn't too thrilled about the casino going in either. But now that it is there, I think the positive impact is far greater than the negative.

Crime- the immediate area where the casino is at is not the nicest area of Bethlehem, so if there was an increase it was not too noticable. I am sure there was a small increase regardless.

Restaurants-I don't think it helped them much at all, since most people visiting casinos usually eat there, but I'm sure it didn't hurt either.

The biggest benefit was the tax rebates that have come from it. My tax bill has dropped by $72 a year because of it, but I'm sure that will give them an excuse to raise it by that much so you wouldn't see the difference. I am not a big fan of gambling, but if other people are pi$$ing away their money to my benefit, you won't hear me complaining.

I know the Atlantic City casinos are hurting from this. Why would you travel an hour and a half to go to something that is only 15 minutes away? I have seen billboards here for AC casinos that I have never seen before.
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Old 04-12-2013, 11:12 AM
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i lived in the area, South Bethlehem, just before and during the beginning of the construction for the casino. i moved in 2008 but i am wondering what has happened to the surrounding "neighborhoods" - real estate, reclamation, etc, on the other side of the river. Thanks!
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Old 04-12-2013, 03:43 PM
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Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Hey, thanks for the detailed response! What you describe sounds like what's happening over this way. Naysayers are predicting skyrocketing crime and addictions in addition to too much traffic.
There are some things that are just human nature. Prostitutes tend to go where there is money and alcohol. Any major development brings traffic, and it always bothers some people. There will always be a story of someone without any prior criminal offenses who embezzles their employee to play at the casino. It's inevitable so be prepared.

But casino companies are usually ruthless about policing the place. They arrest people for finding money and not returning it. In normal urban life, when someone finds money and returns it, it becomes the subject of a news story. But most people don't normally view it as a crime to simply pocket the money if it is not clear who lost it. Picking up money off the sidewalk without making an attempt to determine who it belongs to actually is a crime, but only in a casino do you have enough surveillance to catch people who find money.

Hellertown is small borough (pop < 6000) only 2 miles from the casino, and has made the case that they should receive police cars and extra officers because of the effects of the casino. But keep in mind the casino creates a pile of money to be used by the community. Any politician will argue that they have additional expenses that should be met by giving them the money. Once again, it is human nature, and they may exaggerate the facts.
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Old 05-04-2013, 10:48 AM
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If I ever become Mayor the place will be shut down immediately!
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Old 05-04-2013, 05:37 PM
10,693 posts, read 11,568,914 times
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Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
I bet the local hotels are thrilled with the fact that the Sands hotel hasn't opened. They must be doing a great bit of business even if the majority of visitors are somewhat local.
I realize that this thread is old, but I thought that I would comment.

It seems to me that the 300 room Sands hotel is not really competition. The 124 room Comfort Suites University is the closest hotel (about a mile) and was built in 1992. Their weekday rates are $119 and $129 while the Sands is $139 (down from $159 when they opened). My guess is that on weekdays there is not much stealing from each other.

On weekends the Comfort Suites jumps their prices by $10, while the Sands Hotel increases by $100. I imagine that Comfort Suites steals business from the Casino hotel from people who calculate that for $100/night they can drive one mile (or take a taxi if they are drinking).

The next closest hotel is the 80 room Holiday Inn Express (opened 2006) at the casino exit to I78. I figure that hotel must make money from the casino traffic.

I am not sure if there is any huge factor one way or the other. The primary reason that people drive to Bethlehem's casino is it is closer than Atlantic City, and they don't plan on spending the night.

Incidentally federal government per diem for a hotel in the Lehigh Valley is $83/night (only $6 higher than the absolute minimum rate for the country). So the federal government will only reimburse a maximum of $83 for a hotel room night to their employee (without including taxes), unless the employee can show good cause why they couldn't find a hotel with that rate.

Incidentally on May 1, 2013 the quarterly press release from the corporation boasted Las Vegas Sands Reports All-Time Record Quarterly Results, of which the Bethlehem casinos was responsible for 3.72% of revenue. While a tiny portion of the behemoth corporation's revenue, the casino is very profitable.

Forbes recently placed Sheldon Adelson (age 79) as 15th richest man in the world with a $26.5 billion networth, not far behind Michael Bloomberg (age 71) who is by far the richest politician in the world with a $27.0 billion net worth.

Last edited by PacoMartin; 05-04-2013 at 05:46 PM..
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