Union town board approves casino application despite residents' opposition

Matt Richmond
June 19, 2014

Officials in the Town of Union have thrown their support behind a proposed casino at Traditions at the Glen by a vote of 4-0. The resolution in support passed last night is required by the state’s casino application process.

The casino had much less support among attendees last night. A standing room only crowd applauded loudly for the speakers opposing the project. The main concern was its effect on the residential neighborhoods surrounding Traditions.

"I have to say that I am absolutely against the presence of a casino," says Sharon Goodrich, resident. "I really investigated it and heard a lot about the detrimental affects to the community that a casino can have. My entire family stands with me on this. We’d love to have the resort developed and they’re doing a beautiful job but we do not want to see a casino in our neighborhood.

If selected by the state, the project could include a hotel and conference center, townhouses, and an outdoor entertainment venue in addition to the casino. The total investment is expected to be about $150 million.

For supporters, the main reasoning was the area needs economic development. But another frequently used argument was trust in the Walsh Family, who own Traditions and are applying to build the casino.

"Understanding how the Walshes work and the quality of work that they do and what they’ve already done up there at Traditions, I hope that you do encourage the PUD to give them a chance to further develop this property."

Now that the Walshes have support from the town board, they still have to complete an environmental review and then get a zoning change approved before the casino could be built.

Their final application is due to the state by the end of the month and licenses are expected in the fall.