“Can’t come soon enough:” Casino in State College will help local tourism

Local News

CENTRE COUNTY, Pa. (WTAJ) — After a year of restrictions and fewer business opportunities, the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau says the casino can’t come soon enough.

“As we promote this area as a destination, the more assets we have, the more attractions we have, the better,” said Dave Gerdes, vice president of sales & marketing for the Happy Valley Adventure Bureau.

He says the casino is a win after what seems like loss after loss.

“It’s just something else, another benefit to not only living here, but visiting here,” said Gerdes. “It’s hard for me to find anything negative about it.” 

A large portion of the Nittany Mall is currently vacant, and three of the four anchor stores are unoccupied.

Gerdes says the casino would not only bring life back to the mall, but also the surrounding businesses on Benner Pike and beyond.

“Let’s face it, there’s only a couple of hotels that are right out there. You know, most of our hotels are in downtown State College, or north of town, so they’ll get the benefit of some of the people that are visiting.” 

The casino would also help College Township financially as host municipalities and counties for casinos receive 2% of slot machine revenue and 1% of table game revenue.

Gerdes says he hopes the community holds faith in the time and planning that went into this decision.

Bally’s is a very reputable company. The people that are involved in this project are very reputable. They know what they’re doing. They’re connected to the area.” 

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