Developer speeds up Aqueduct schedule

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The developer of the Aqueduct Race Track racino said it is running on a condensed schedule to complete the project three months earlier than expected.

Under the previous plans, Resorts World New York expected to have 1,600 of the planned 4,525 video lottery terminals operational by late summer.

But the company said last week that it expects to have 2,500 of the machines in operation by late summer.

“This accelerated schedule will allow for not only a more robust opening and better customer experience with more food and beverage facilities than previously planned, but the completion of the facility — including the operation of all 4,525 video lottery terminals — by the end of 2011, three months ahead of schedule,” Resorts World New York President Mike Speller said in a statement.

The redevelopment plans originally called for construction in three phases but will now be done in two sections, Resorts World said.

Besides the 2,500 VLTs, the company expects the main entrance, porte cochere, international buffet and parking garage to be part of the first phase of the development.

Also opening in the first phase is a food court featuring seven types of cuisine, The 360 Bar and entertainment space and a grab-and-go quick food outlet.

A skybridge connecting the A train station to the racino entrance was originally supposed to open under phase three in the spring of 2012, but is now expected to be completed by the end of the year, Resorts World said.

Also opening in the second phase are the remaining 2,000 VLTs, two fine dining restaurants — Genting Palace and RW Prinme — another grab-and-go food outlet, the Colony lounge, the VIP Crockfords Casino and another bar with views of the first-floor entertainment bar.

The Aqueduct project is expected to employ 1,000 permanent workers in the entertainment, security and food-service fields.

The announcement of the speed-up of the development plans came after Resorts World said it would infuse $250,000 into the purse for the Wood Memorial at the Ozone Park track to bring the total purse to $1 million.

The Wood Memorial is a precursor to the Triple Crown races: the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness Stakes and the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, L.I.

Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at hkoplowitz@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.

Updated 10:53 am, October 12, 2011
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