Empire Resorts, Inc. (NASDAQ-GM: NYNY) ("Empire") and EPR Properties (NYSE:EPR) ("EPR") today announced that their respective subsidiaries, Monticello Raceway Management, Inc. (“MRMI”) and EPT Concord II, LLC (“EPT”) have agreed to amend an option agreement between MRMI and EPT (the “Option Agreement”) in which EPT granted MRMI the right to lease certain property held by EPT at the site of the former Concord Resort in Sullivan County, New York, on which the parties have planned to develop a regional destination casino resort, hotel and harness racetrack.
Emanuel Pearlman, Chairman of the Board of Empire Resorts, stated, “We are pleased to enter into this Option Agreement with EPR further enhancing the relationship between our Companies. Importantly, the Option Agreement provides the flexibility required to accommodate any outcome of the November 2013 New York State Constitution Amendment referendum. Consequently, we are well-positioned to provide upstate New York with desperately needed economic development and jobs.”
David Brain, President and CEO of EPR Properties, stated, “This new Option Agreement allows us to be responsive to the outcomes of the New York State Constitution Amendment referendum, and enables maximum utilization of our existing land investment in Sullivan County.”
Based on the amendment, MRMI’s option to lease the property is extended to various dates in the future based upon whether or not the amendment to the New York State Constitution authorizing up to seven non-tribal casinos is approved by voters at the November 2013 referendum. MRMI may extend the term of the Option Agreement on a monthly basis, by paying monthly fees that escalate annually, until a future date based upon certain trigger events.
The Option Agreement marks another milestone for the project, including adoption of a comprehensive final site development plan for Phase 1 of the project by the Town of Thompson on July 10, 2013. Empire has also signed a Project Labor Agreement with the Hudson Valley Building & Construction Trades Council, as well as an executed Labor Peace Agreement with the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council.