OXFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --
Oxford Casino is close to opening a new hotel attached to the existing casino building.
On Thursday the casino held a ceremonial ribbon cutting ahead of an official opening to the public next week.
The hotel will create dozens of jobs at Oxford and also provided many temporary construction jobs while it was being built.
But, is the casino much closer to creating a four-season resort and spa initially promised to voters?
The short answer is not really.
This opening of this hotel does not signify the casino has expanded as much as envisioned at the outset.
But casino managers say it is a step in the right direction and if economic conditions are good, more expansion could be coming.
The new hotel will create 80 new full time jobs here.
880 people were employed during its construction.
Casino managers and local politicians at the open Thursday tonight say they’re optimistic more expansion could eventually happen.
“This is another step forward towards those goals,” said state senator Bill Diamond, who represents a district near Oxford. “I think that’s best we can do. We’re not going backwards. We’re going forwards and I think as long as people realize it’s an interim process then I think we’ll be fine.”
The defeat of a York County Casino is seen as a positive here, though a planned casino in Massachusetts may have unknown effects.
According to folks here at Oxford more expansion depends on how the economy does over the next few years.
“It’s just a question of the economy,” said casino manager and vice president, Jack Sours. “As the economy grows and as we grow, we’ll continue to expand. It’s just a matter of being prudent with your investment and as we see opportunity, we’ll continue to invest.”
The new hotel will open to the public sometime next week because finishing touches are still being put on the building.
Oxford Casino is also still hiring staff for the hotel.