Gateway Casinos has released renderings of Delta’s proposed casino in advance of its first public consultation session.
The North Delta Reporter sat down with representatives from Gateway Casinos and the B.C. Lottery Corporation for an exclusive first look at the proposal, which will be available to view at public consultation sessions this week.
The casino application has been in the works for several months, and in early November Gateway Casinos officially applied to build a casino on the current Town & Country Inn site in Ladner.
“We’re really eager to engage to the community,” said Gateway Casinos director of public relations Tanya Gabara. “We’re ready to commit for the long term.”
The proposed development will use nine acres of the 10.8 acre site for the building and parking lots. The remaining 1.8 acres will be kept as green space. The total building will be 200,000 sq. feet, cost $70 million in capital investments and provide 500 person-years of construction jobs, plus up to 700 new jobs in the hospitality industry once it’s completed.
The casino will become part of one of Gateway’s four casino brands: Grand Villa, which has a location in Burnaby; Playtime Gaming, which has a location in Langley; Starlight, which has a location in New Westminster; and Cascades, again with a location in Langley.
Each brand has its own particular offerings and style.
“We are slowly shifting all of our properties to reflect one of these brands,” Gabara said, adding Gateway does research into the customers in the community to figure out which brand fits best.
“For Delta, we’re still doing that,” she said.
The actual content of the gaming area will be determined by the B.C. Lottery Commission. Although Gateway’s application included a request for a casino with up to 600 slot machines and 24 gaming tables, a Nov. 6 letter to the City of Delta from BCLC indicated that the quantity and type of gaming hadn’t been decided.
According to Gabara, the two restaurants have already been decided: Match, Gateways’ pub-style brand, and Atlas, it’s steak and seafood restaurant. Both restaurants would have an outdoor patio and family-friendly entrances.
It’s possible an additional buffet may be in the casino.
The hotel, which is proposed to have 116 rooms, would connect to an open lobby at the north side of the casino. From there, people would be able to access the upstairs meeting rooms, the Match eatery and the casino. The Atlas restaurant would be accessible from the other side of the casino, and have a separate, family-friendly entrance.
The meeting rooms, located in above the Match eatery, would use “air walls,” allowing the space to be reconfigured for different users.
“It’s going to be very convertible,” she said, “so we can maximize a smaller footprint, but also make it very flexible for the groups that are going to be using it.”
The entrance to the casino would remain the same as it is for the current Town & Country Inn: drivers would turn down 60 Avenue from Highway 17A or 62B Street and then follow a side road to the parking lot.
Gabara said there are no plans to change that layout, and initial traffic studies showed the impact at the intersection would be minimal, as casino peak hours are outside of rush hour.
The parking lot would have two levels, a lower level, slightly below the casino’s foundation but not underground, and the upper level. The entire casino would be raised above the current ground level for the Town & Country Inn due to the flood plain.
A shuttle service, like the one used at Starlight Casino, is not currently planned for the casino although it may be considered if a need in shown during the public consultation sessions, Gabara said.
The first public consultation is scheduled at the Delta Town & Country Inn on Tuesday, Nov. 28 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The next is scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 30 at the Kennedy Seniors Recreation Centre from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. A third is scheduled at the Tsawwassen Springs clubhouse for Dec. 11, and a fourth is planned for the Town & Country Inn sometime in January.
Gateway Casinos has also set up a website at gatewaycasinosdelta.com where residents can go for more information and to provide feedback on the development.