Resorts World Casino unveils $5 Billion proposal transforming Queens into a global entertainment hub

Resorts World Casino’s $5 billion plan to transform Queens into entertainment and gambling hub.
Photo by Anthony Medina

Resorts World Casino in South Ozone Park unveiled a $5 billion proposal on Feb. 29 to transform the Queens gaming venue into a global entertainment destination, with the addition of a 7,000-seat concert center, 50 acres of new park space, 3,000 units of workforce housing, and public transit connections. 

The casino’s proposal for the multi-billion dollar project also calls for the addition of a 350,000-square-foot casino floor dedicated to gaming, conference, and entertainment purposes, Resorts World announced.

Part of the process to begin implementing the proposed additions to the Resorts World Casino property, including adding tabletop gaming and the creation of Aquaduct Park, is contingent on the company getting a gaming license from the New York State Gaming Commission.

Rendering of proposed additions and changes to Resort World site. Photo Resorts World

Resorts World announced its plans alongside key leaders of the company, legislators, and civic leaders. Robert DeSalvio, president of Genting Americas East, the largest Destination Resort operator with Resorts World branded properties, spoke on the additional benefits the project will bring to the area.

“When we stood here more than a dozen years ago to break ground on Resorts World New York City, our vision extended well beyond that already-ambitious original plan – today, that vision can soon become reality,” said DeSalvio.

As part of the proposal, Resort World plans to create a new 7,000-seat entertainment venue called the Ayu DayClub, where visitors can enjoy concerts, beverages, and the latest performance artists globally.

Nas, a legendary hip-hop artist from Queens, teamed up with the casino to support the new potential opportunities.

“This is an ambitious project that will give new opportunities to the hard-working families who call Queens home, attract top-tier talent, and build up the next generation of leaders. Clearly, with this project, the world is ours,” said Nas.

Celebrity Chef Marcus Samuelsson will help roll-out food and beverage at Resorts World. Photo by Anthony Medina

Additionally, the creation of over 10 acres of publicly accessible greenspace, including pocket parks, new trails, and bike and running paths, comes in the casino’s plans as a means to adhere to community needs and support environmentally friendly resources.

The consolidation of horse racing at Belmont Park will enable the state to initiate a process to re-imagine the remaining Aqueduct parcel, according to Resorts World.

The additional construction of 3,000 homes around the park space is also expected to prioritize low-income families. An enhancement of transportation to JFK International Airport in the casino plans is set to improve mass transit connectivity in Southeast Queens, and connect those around the 5 boroughs to the casino.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards took inspiration from Nas in his words regarding the impact of Resort World’s proposals.

“Queens get the money,” Richards said.

The borough president said the project would bring jobs, housing, and entertainment to the borough.

Resort World plans to expand its workforce to add 5,000 permanent union jobs in the casino and hospitality industry. Over 50% of these jobs would be filled within the first 100 days of full casino operations, as announced by the casino.

“We are going to ensure, working with our partners, that we get a full scale entertainment center right here which will be great for our community. We should not have to leave our borough to get and to have access to the most modern facilities,” Richards added.

Community Board 10 Chair Betty Braton, who has worked with the casino to ensure the plans take the neighborhood’s needs into account, also praised Resorts World for being a partner in bettering the area for over a dozen years.

“They have been with us in good times and tough times ever since, giving both financial support and their time to this community. I know this partnership will only continue as Resorts World answers the immediate needs but also presents a vision for the future,” Braton said.

Helping to uplift the casino’s new restaurant spaces, with the expansion of the resort, are celebrity chefs Scott Conant and Marcus Samuelsson, bringing local food and beverage concepts while highlighting Queens.

“Together we hope to capture the beauty and diversity of food cultures that makes Queens one of the most exciting places in the world to eat. We’re excited to share an authentic taste of this delicious mosaic,” said Samuelsson.

In addition to the major Resorts World infrastructure, a $50 million investment in the Genting Innovation Center is expected to create the foundation for a community health and wellness center, the Kenny “The Jet” Smith Academy. Furthermore, the project would add 1,600 new hotel rooms on top of the 400 already online at the Hyatt Regency JFK Airport at Resorts World.