I wanted to inform Rock Hill residents of the positive impact an Indian-run casino would have in your city. I lived in Rhode Island for over 50 years. I was only 40 miles from the Foxwoods Casino in Ledyard, Conn.
Before the casino was built, Ledyard was a very run-down rural community, lacking in good jobs, decent roads, etc. The Mashantucket Pequot Indian tribe was approved for a bingo hall/casino. Within a matter of five short years, Foxwoods was a national landmark. Ledyard, Conn., was transformed to a place that thousands of people wanted to live!
Over 5,000 jobs were created, well-paying jobs. Roads and new homes were built. Every time relatives visited us from the South, Foxwoods was the place they demanded to visit.
The Indian tribe, through their clever minds, were able to develop the town and yet keep its rural heritage. My wife was employed there for a few years and loved it. All sorts of celebrities now visit and perform there.
The housing market turned around and landowners watched their values increase. In all the years that Foxwoods has been there, I can’t remember any problems that residents complained about. It was a win-win for the state, the town and the Mashantucket Pequot Indian tribe.
My home state of Rhode Island watched thousands of dollars go into the Connecticut economy. The residents of Rhode Island wanted the Narragansett Indian tribe to build a casino but the corrupt politicians, through their greed, could never get it done. Instead, they built two state-run casinos, but they are nothing compared to what the Indians created. It’s actually a joke comparing the two!
So the point of my letter is, If you allow the Catawba Indians to build and run a casino, Rock Hill will become a shining star for the Carolinas. We need jobs in this state, and a casino will bring thousands! I promise you, if a casino can get done, the first thing you’ll say is: “Why didn't we do this sooner.”
I speak from experience. I’ve lived near an Indian casino. Rock Hill leaders need to go see what I'm talking about. Rock Hill would be the talk of the South.
John P Lage Jr.