10 Dec

One More Year to Delta Casino Completion?

Goodbye Delta Town & Country Inn; Hello Cascades Casino Delta!

Goodbye Delta Town and Country Inn, Hello New Cascades Casino!

It’s been almost four years now since Gateway Casinos made its initial proposal to build a new casino in the Greater Vancouver Area. It’ll be about another year before the plan finally comes to fruition, granting residents of Delta, BC and beyond access to the new upscale gaming facility.

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The media caught up with Gateway in November to inquire as to how construction of the new to-be-named Cascades Casino Delta is coming along. A company spokesperson would neither confirm or deny whether the property’s predicted timeline to open in late 2020 is still on track, but it was implied that the project is moving right along.

Cascades Casino Delta Project Proposal

The project began in 2016 as nothing more than a Request for Interest from the British Columbia Lottery Corp (BCLC). The provincial gaming regulator was seeking interest in a new casino property to be built somewhere in the Greater Vancouver Area, South of the Fraser River. The new property would replace the outdated Newton Community Gaming Centre, which went on to officially cease operations in April 2018.

The City of Delta responded to the RFI, and BCLC gave the nod. Gateway Casinos & Entertainment soon proposed a combined hotel casino project that would include 116 rooms, 500 slot machines, 24 table games, meeting space, and the company’s signature MATCH and ATLAS fine dining venues. In May 2018, the City of Delta approved the proposal, leaving the final say in the hands of the BCLC.

Following a lengthy investigation into objections from the City of Richmond, the BCLC finally stamped its official seal of approval on the project in early 2019.

Goodbye Delta Town and County Inn

Goodbye Delta Town and Country Inn, Hello New Cascades Casino!

It wasn’t until April that the gravity of the situation finally struck home. On April 12, 2019, the demolition crew arrived on the property of the former Town & Country Inn, where they began the first stage of deconstruction of the old Delta hotel at the junction of Highways 17A and 99.

A marginal portion of Delta’s residents were still petitioning against the intended erection of a casino, but the majority of comments heard by city council had more to do with disappointment in losing Delta’s indoor tennis courts. Numerous residents turned out for the next city council meeting, questioning how the city would replicate the “health benefits, accessibility and affordability of tennis at the Town & Country Inn facility”.

November Brings No Opening Date for Casino

Six months after demolition began, construction of the casino has yet to take shape. The crews are out in full force, but as of mid-November, nothing had been erected above ground level. When asked if the proposed timeline is still on track for the grand opening of Cascades Casino Delta in late 2020, a spokesperson for Gateway Casinos gave the following statement:

As you can appreciate, this is a large and complex project but we are pleased with the progress we have been making in the early stages. We will have many exciting updates for the public over the coming months as we begin to raise the new Cascades Casino from the ground.”

I’m no engineer, but I imagine setting the foundation for a $70 million, 42,227 square-foot complex, including a 5-story hotel, is no easy task; certainly not one to be rushed. Assuming Gateway’s announcement that they are “pleased” with the current progress means the project is still on track, intended patrons of the new casino – even old tennis buffs morning the loss of courts at the Delta Town and Country Inn – can still look forward to spinning the slots reels and chipping in on the blackjack tables a year from now.

In the meantime, the new Cascades Casino Delta is already making its contributions to the community known. At the 21st Annual Moonlighting Gala, the casino was named among the most generous, platinum sponsors, helping to raise $588,439 for the Delta Hospital and Community Health Foundation.

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