Slots and Arundel Mills: A winning combination
By Gregg Goodman,
President, The Mills — A Simon Company
Shopping centers located near casinos are among the most vibrant in the country. One need only look at our Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas or the retail entertainment district at the Cordish Cos. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Hollywood, Fla., to know that this synergy leads to both successful retailers and casinos owners — and city and state governments that are thrilled with their increased tax revenue. So be skeptical when you hear suggestions that casinos don’t belong near shopping centers.
This synergy brings meaningful benefits for the communities surrounding these facilities. With the proposed Arundel Mills casino, Anne Arundel County would benefit from 4,000 jobs on top of millions of dollars in tax revenue (much of it from out-of-towners). And, remember, Arundel Mills already has the infrastructure in place to support the project; a casino at this site would have the least environmental impact of any in the county.
How about the impact on the mall itself? To be clear, the casino would in no way diminish the family-friendly environment there, because the two facilities would not be physically connected. Gaming would not be accessible from the mall.
Arundel Mills is already a major East Coast destination, and we would do nothing to jeopardize this success. But shopping centers must change and grow to remain the tax-generating powerhouses on which their communities rely. Quite simply, joining forces with the Cordish Cos. to build a first-class gaming, dining and entertainment venue next to Arundel Mills makes sense, both for our businesses and for Anne Arundel and the D.C. region.
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