[toc]The second of four new casinos approved by New York voters in 2013 will open its doors next week — Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady.
The $330 million casino, located along on Mohawk Harbor will open at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 8, nearly two years to the day that construction officially began on the project.
Said Rivers Schenectady General Manager Mary Cheeks in a press release:
“Our team has been working around the clock to make Rivers Casino & Resort a reality for the Capital Region, and I can’t say enough great things about our construction partners and the hundreds of team members we’ve hired over the past weeks.
Feb. 8 is the day that Rivers celebrates the start of a lasting positive relationship with the Capital Region, and that we welcome our first guests in to experience the quality and care we take in our customer experience.”
The second of four New York casinos
Rivers Schenectady will join Tioga Downs Casino in Vernon Downs as the only operational New York casinos. (Tioga Downs opened in December 2016.)
The state’s two other casinos projects are also expected to open in 2017:
- Montreign Resort Casino in Sullivan County in the Catskills
- del Lago Resort & Casino in Seneca County in the Finger Lakes
Gaming options at Rivers Schenectady
The casino floor
Rivers Schenectady will boast a 50,000-square-foot gaming floor, where guests can choose from 1,150 slot machines, 67 table games, or spend time in the property’s 15-table poker room.
Rivers will also feature a dedicated high limit area.
Rush Rewards Player’s Club
The moment the property opens, Rivers Schenectady will implement Rush Street’s VIP rewards program, Rush Rewards Player’s Club.
Rush Rewards is a tiered program with three reward levels:
Rivers Schenectady will also honor players’ reward levels from other Rush Street properties. Through March, it will also grant players with a valid and active mid- to high-level loyalty card from a competing regional casino an automatic upgrade to the corresponding Rush Rewards tier.
Players who sign up for a Rush Rewards Player’s Club card at Rivers Schenectady will earn points for their slot, table games, and poker play by inserting their cards into the slot machine or presenting it to dealers.
And finally, during the month of February, Rush Rewards members will earn $5 in free slot play for every 200 tier points earned, with a maximum bonus of $25 per gaming day.
Like all Rush Street properties, Rivers Schenectady offers Rush Street Interactive’s suite of social casino games.
Inside the resort
Multiple dining options
Rivers Schenectady will feature five restaurant options: from sit-down or to-go, fine dining or local favorites.
- Dukes Chophouse was designed from the ground up to offer guests a fun and comfortable atmosphere to enjoy a superior dining experience, with seating for upwards of 100 guests.
- FLIPT will serve specialty burgers and sandwiches, hot dogs, sides, salads, and more. A Build-Your-Burger option and staff recommendations have made FLIPT a favorite at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines, IL.
- Mian will offer a contemporary take on an array of Asian cuisine favorites. Mian has been a popular option at Rivers Casino in Des Plaines since day one.
- Johnny’s To Go will carry a selection of favorites from the popular downtown Schenectady Italian restaurant, ready to go on short notice.
- Villa Italia, another Schenectady favorite, will serve a selection of pastries and cookies alongside unmistakable Villa Italia coffee, 24/7.
Live entertainment at Van Slyck’s Lounge
According to the press release from Rush Street, “Van Slyck’s will be the region’s premiere location to enjoy live music and televised sporting events.”
Van Slyck’s will not only serve as a gathering place, but the lounge will also have a dedicated gaming space, featuring 34 slot machines and a number of table games, including craps, roulette, and blackjack.
But the focal point will be the stage, where there will be a steady stream of live entertainment, bands, and DJs.
Per the press release, “On Opening Day, Van Slyck’s will be host to a day-long lineup of live music from local and regional bands and DJs.”
The property doesn’t possess a hotel (more on that in a moment), but it will have the amenities visitors to resort casinos have come to expect.
Splash Spa at Rivers Casino is slated to open sometime in February.
“The full service spa located inside the resort will offer visitors the utmost in comprehensive services designed to maximize comfort, relaxation and inner peace,” the press release states.
The spa will offer manicures, pedicures, massages, facials, a blow out bar, scalp and body treatments, and makeup. Because of its location in the entrance promenade, the spa is open to guests of all ages.
Meanwhile, Rivers Casino & Resort Event Center is a 10,000-square-foot multi-use space that can be divided into multiple rooms, as well as a pre-function space overlooking the Mohawk River. The event center will be available for everything from weddings to conferences and can accommodate from 600 to 900 guests.
What about the hotel?
As noted above, the property will not have an on-site hotel, but Rivers Schenectady sits adjacent to the $150 million Mohawk Harbor development currently under construction by the Galesi Group.
The project is a mix of residential, retail, and commercial space, a 50-slip harbor on the Mohawk River and Erie Canal, as well as a 124-room Courtyard by Marriott for casino guests who may want to stay overnight.