Poor, poor Rocky Gap Resort

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Capital Land,Liz Farmer

For something so scenic and peaceful, it might be surprising to visitors that the Rocky Gap Lodge & Golf Resort is something that even the most desperate of buyers wouldn't touch with a ten-foot pole. That is, until you take a peek underneath the hood.

There you'll find millions of dollars of debt and an operation that lost $625,000 last year, according to officials who testified before a Maryland Senate committee. The state's lawmakers thought they might solve the resort's woes by designating the site as one of the state's five slots facilities, but not even that drew any interest.

So now the state (which has invested $30 million in the resort) is trying to sweeten the pot. One proposal heard by the committee proposes temporarily altering the revenue sharing for that facility to give a slots operator more of a stake. By law, operators get about one-third of the casino revenue. Half goes to education and the rest is divvied up between the racing industry and localities.

However, slots operators in other states on average get to keep more of the proceeds. Most states allow operators between 40 and 60 percent of the revenue.

Another proposal to "save" Rocky Gap would require a future slots license holder for that site to also purchase the resort.

After two requests for proposals and no answers for Rocky Gap, that's going to help draw interest?

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Author:

Liz Farmer

Examiner Staff Writer
The Washington Examiner