The Seneca Gaming Corp. plans to build an approximately 200-room hotel tower at its Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, a $53 million project that would almost double the number of on-site rooms, the corporation announced Monday.
The project recently was approved by separate votes of the company's board of directors and the Seneca Nation of Indians Council.
The current 212-room hotel tower opened in 2007. Company officials say it has received a Four Diamond rating for service and quality from AAA each of the past four years.
"The ability to offer additional hotel capacity will help strengthen our position in the marketplace and further establish Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel as a true destination resort," said Karen Karsten, chairwoman of the Seneca Gaming board.
The project allows Seneca Gaming to continue to expand its reach, strengthen its marketing programs and work with other tourism leaders in the Southern Tier, she added.
The hotel has been a particularly strong performer, with occupancy rates above 95 percent for the past nine months, Seneca Gaming officials said. More than 1.5 million people have visited the resort so far this year, including significant numbers from Pennsylvania and Ohio.
"Logistically, we simply cannot meet the demand for on-site hotel accommodations, particularly during peak times and for concerts and special events, creating scenarios where guests seeking hotel rooms were turned away," said Gus Tsivikis, general manager of the casino and hotel.
State Sen. Catharine M. Young, R-Olean, cited the dozens of new jobs that will be created during construction, along with even more long-term jobs once the new tower is built.