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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 V.I. Casino Control Commission voted to reserve a casino license for Robin Bay Associates’ 300-room, $500 million south-shore project.
Casino 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, or 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 background in casinos such as the Foxwood Resort and Casino, said he was confident in the massive plans Robin Bay Associates has for the 300-room, 20,000 square-foot Seven Hills Casino and Resort, which will 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."
Robinson 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 a zoning change for 615 acres near Great Pond Bay is approved by the V.I. Legislature. Phase one includes the 300-room hotel, the casino and 100 time-share units. Also planned is a convention center and an 18-hole golf course. Later phases include nearly 400 more rooms in an eco-lodge spa facility and a beachfront hotel. Robinson said 300 construction jobs would be generated in during the initial phase.
If the project is completed, it would be the largest resort-casino in the West Indies.
"I hope to be in the ground ground in the next 12 months," Robinson said. "That depends on the zoning.
"My thing is to develop all that land at some point," he said.
In October, the Casino Commission reserved one of the two allowed "Casino II" casino licenses for Golden Gaming Inc. of New Jersey. Robin Bay Associates is the other Casino II applicant. The Casino Control Act allows for six casinos to be built on St. Croix. The two Casino II facilities must have 300 to 1,400 rooms and a 10,000-square-foot casino.
Paul Golden has purchased some 265 acres, also near Great Pond Bay for his 400-room hotel-casino project, which also includes an18-hole golf course.
The Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino, which opened in March 2000, currently employs about 325 people.
As for Robinson’s proposal, Casino Commission member Lloyd McAlpin said it was the kind that could lift St. Croix from the "bottom of the barrel."
"We can’t turn our backs on investors like these," he said

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Dec. 20, 2001 -- St. Croix took a step toward its third casino Wednesday when the V.I. Casino Control Commission voted to reserve a casino license for Robin Bay Associates’ 300-room, $500 million south-shore project.
Casino 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, or 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 background in casinos such as the Foxwood Resort and Casino, said he was confident in the massive plans Robin Bay Associates has for the 300-room, 20,000 square-foot Seven Hills Casino and Resort, which will 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."
Robinson 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 a zoning change for 615 acres near Great Pond Bay is approved by the V.I. Legislature. Phase one includes the 300-room hotel, the casino and 100 time-share units. Also planned is a convention center and an 18-hole golf course. Later phases include nearly 400 more rooms in an eco-lodge spa facility and a beachfront hotel. Robinson said 300 construction jobs would be generated in during the initial phase.
If the project is completed, it would be the largest resort-casino in the West Indies.
"I hope to be in the ground ground in the next 12 months," Robinson said. "That depends on the zoning.
"My thing is to develop all that land at some point," he said.
In October, the Casino Commission reserved one of the two allowed "Casino II" casino licenses for Golden Gaming Inc. of New Jersey. Robin Bay Associates is the other Casino II applicant. The Casino Control Act allows for six casinos to be built on St. Croix. The two Casino II facilities must have 300 to 1,400 rooms and a 10,000-square-foot casino.
Paul Golden has purchased some 265 acres, also near Great Pond Bay for his 400-room hotel-casino project, which also includes an18-hole golf course.
The Divi Carina Bay Resort and Casino, which opened in March 2000, currently employs about 325 people.
As for Robinson’s proposal, Casino Commission member Lloyd McAlpin said it was the kind that could lift St. Croix from the "bottom of the barrel."
"We can’t turn our backs on investors like these," he said