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SEVEN HILLS CASINO GETS PARTIAL APPROVAL

Dec. 20, 2001 – St. Croix took a step toward its third casino Wednesday when the Casino Control Commission voted to reserve a license for Robin Bay Associates’ 300-room, $500 million South Shore project.
Commission members granted Curtis Robinson, majority partner in Robin Bay Associates, a 24-month provisional license in which the developers must report to the commission every six months on the venture’s ongoing financial viability, permitting status and any major changes to the business plan. The approval was granted after the Division of Gaming Enforcement conducted a background investigation into Robinson and his partners.
Robinson, a Connecticut-based real estate developer with a casino background that includes the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., said he has confidence in the massive plans Robin Bay Associates has for Seven Hills Casino and Resort, a 20,000 square foot facility to be located just east of Great Pond Bay. He said he has already sunk $3 million of his own money into the project.
"I saw this as a first-class opportunity," Robinson told the commission on Wednesday. "I’m willing to take a chance. I can invest $500 million anyplace in the world. But I want to do it here." He said the financing for the project should be closed sometime in the first quarter of 2002.
The first phase of the project could begin in about a year if the Legislature approves a zoning change for 615 acres near Great Pond Bay. That phase includes the 300-room hotel, the casino and 100 time-share units. Also planned are a convention center and an 18-hole golf course. Later phases are to include nearly 400 more rooms in an eco-lodge/spa facility and a beachfront hotel. Robinson said the initial phase would generate 300 construction jobs.
The overall plan is for what would be the largest resort-casino in the West Indies.
"I hope to be in the ground in the next 12 months," Robinson said. "That depends on the zoning." He added, "My thing is to develop all that land at some point."
Commission member Lloyd McAlpin said Robinson's proposal is the kind that could lift St. Croix from the "bottom of the barrel." He added, "We can’t turn our backs on investors like these."
In October, the Casino Control Commission reserved the first of the two allowed "Casino II" casino licenses for Golden Gaming Inc. of New Jersey. The other one is now reserved for Robin Bay Associates. The Casino Control Act allows for six casinos of varying sizes to be built on St. Croix. A Casino II facility must have a hotel of 300 to1,400 rooms and a casino of at least 10,000 square feet.
Paul Golden has purchased some 265 acres, also near Great Pond Bay, for his Golden Gaming 400-room hotel-casino project, which also includes an18-hole golf course.
The Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino, the territory's first and only casino property to open, has been in operation since March 2000 and currently employs about 325 people.

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Dec. 20, 2001 - St. Croix took a step toward its third casino Wednesday when the Casino Control Commission voted to reserve a license for Robin Bay Associates’ 300-room, $500 million South Shore project.
Commission members granted Curtis Robinson, majority partner in Robin Bay Associates, a 24-month provisional license in which the developers must report to the commission every six months on the venture’s ongoing financial viability, permitting status and any major changes to the business plan. The approval was granted after the Division of Gaming Enforcement conducted a background investigation into Robinson and his partners.
Robinson, a Connecticut-based real estate developer with a casino background that includes the Foxwoods Resort and Casino in Mashantucket, Conn., said he has confidence in the massive plans Robin Bay Associates has for Seven Hills Casino and Resort, a 20,000 square foot facility to be located just east of Great Pond Bay. He said he has already sunk $3 million of his own money into the project.
"I saw this as a first-class opportunity," Robinson told the commission on Wednesday. "I’m willing to take a chance. I can invest $500 million anyplace in the world. But I want to do it here." He said the financing for the project should be closed sometime in the first quarter of 2002.
The first phase of the project could begin in about a year if the Legislature approves a zoning change for 615 acres near Great Pond Bay. That phase includes the 300-room hotel, the casino and 100 time-share units. Also planned are a convention center and an 18-hole golf course. Later phases are to include nearly 400 more rooms in an eco-lodge/spa facility and a beachfront hotel. Robinson said the initial phase would generate 300 construction jobs.
The overall plan is for what would be the largest resort-casino in the West Indies.
"I hope to be in the ground in the next 12 months," Robinson said. "That depends on the zoning." He added, "My thing is to develop all that land at some point."
Commission member Lloyd McAlpin said Robinson's proposal is the kind that could lift St. Croix from the "bottom of the barrel." He added, "We can’t turn our backs on investors like these."
In October, the Casino Control Commission reserved the first of the two allowed "Casino II" casino licenses for Golden Gaming Inc. of New Jersey. The other one is now reserved for Robin Bay Associates. The Casino Control Act allows for six casinos of varying sizes to be built on St. Croix. A Casino II facility must have a hotel of 300 to1,400 rooms and a casino of at least 10,000 square feet.
Paul Golden has purchased some 265 acres, also near Great Pond Bay, for his Golden Gaming 400-room hotel-casino project, which also includes an18-hole golf course.
The Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino, the territory's first and only casino property to open, has been in operation since March 2000 and currently employs about 325 people.