Concerns about an increase in traffic at Waterloo Thruway exit due to the adjacent del Lago Resort & Casino proved to be true. Some time ago, officials were warned about possible traffic issues related to del Lago Resort & Casino. According to reliable sources, the entertainment complex opened in February this year and since then the city meets serious traffic jams.
Vexed residents argue that the city officials did not take into consideration the changes that will ensue from the construction of del Lago Resort & Casino. The situation is only worsening as vehicle traffic at Waterloo Thruway exit is almost two times higher than before.
The growing problem is only aggravating the situation at Waterloo Thruway exit with every passing day. As many as 266,306 vehicles entered Waterloo Thruway exit per month just the year before the casino property opened to crowds. Since del Lago Resort & Casino opened earlier this year, the number of the vehicles passing through Waterloo Thruway exit dramatically surged to 381,477, or 43% increase. The information was obtained from the State Thruway Authority and it does not cover the winter months.
To mitigate traffic issues, track officials expanded the toll road just before the casino opened its doors to the public. However, heavy traffic and beeping horns have turned into something normal for the people, who are using this road every day. Environmentalists are concerned that the traffic jams might appear to be the smallest problem. They outlined that the increase in traffic volumes leads to a number of negative consequences, including poor air quality, parking difficulty, and demolition of public infrastructure.
Economic Benefits Easily Outweigh Costs
De Lago Executive Vice President and General Manager Jeff Babinski explained that the increase in traffic is a sure sign that the casino is performing more than well and it is encouraging tourism development. This, on the other hand, brings a number of economic benefits and an additional source of revenues into the local economy. Hence, it can be said that the casino is keeping its promise to boost economic regeneration and tourism in Seneca County.
Seneca County Board of Supervisors Chairman Bob Shipley supported Mr. Babinski’s statement, adding that the casino even exceeded the projected expectations. De Lago Resort & Casino is projected to contribute $263 million in government revenue. At present, it seems that the casino is behind projections with $100 million.
However, it should be admitted that the casino venue stirs economic activity in the area and supports local small- and medium-sized businesses. According to Gary Schlegel, owner of Magee Diner on Route 414, del Lago Resort & Casino significantly bolstered his business and his sales increased by 15%. He shared that he even plans to further expand his business.