Friday, January 13, 2006

Casino Zapped

Isle of Capri Casinos promised to build a new Penguins Arena free of cost. They brought in associate Nationwide Realty, developer of the successful Arena Complex in Columbus, Ohio, to develop $1 Billion in Real Estate in addition to this project. Such a development could potentially yield $28 M in annual real estate tax revenue, not counting payroll taxes from new jobs. 18 varied state and local officials enthusiastically endorsed Isle of Capri's plan and its ability to kill three or four birds with one stone: Lower hill development, Penguins Arena, etc. Yet, no word from Bobby O, Danny O or Fast Eddie on whether this plan is a good idea or not.

Why the reticence? Perhaps its because Harrahs and Forest City Enterprises, huge donors to all three aforementioned Democrats, also had the good sense to include a Zappala in their plans. Take an enormous developer like Forest City Enterprises, add a dash of strategically donated election funds, and cook the whole thing with the brother of a mobster cum District Attorney. Volia!

Peter Leo, writer of the PG's Morning File, has been sponsoring a slogan contest for the Steel City. I have a modest suggestion: "Pittsburgh, Bought and Sold."

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