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Golden Gaming Gets One More Chance


Nov. 8, 2005 — Golden Gaming has received another three-month extension to fulfill an agreement with the Public Finance Authority.
Paul Golden, who has been pushing his plans since 1999 to build a resort with over 500 rooms, a casino, and a golf course in the Great Pond area on St. Croix, made his appeal Monday for an extension to the PFA via a teleconference. He said that much progress had been made in getting funding for the project, but this further extension was needed to complete all arrangements.
Golden also received an extension on his reservation for a casino permit last week from the Casino Control Commission. (See "Golden Gets Another Extension on Casino License"). However, comments reported from both meetings indicate that some officials are getting tired of making extensions and not seeing any concrete progress on the project.
Kenneth E. Mapp, director of finance and administration for PFA, said at a meeting of the USVI Hotel & Tourism Association on Tuesday that some reports of what the agreement between Golden Gaming and the PFA says are misleading.
Mapp said that the PFA has not agreed to give Golden $41 million or $32 million to build a conference center as part of the resort. He explained that V.I. legislators have said $41 million could be invested in the Golden Gaming Resort with no more than $32 million of that being spent on a conference center.
Mapp added that at this point the PFA is waiting for Golden to show that he has investors ready to put $95 million into the project. If Golden presents plans and documentation that is acceptable to PFA board members, according to Mapp, the board members will then make a decision on how much it will invest in the project and where.
Mapp said that PFA board member Paul Arnold was adamant in his statements that this extension would be "the make it or break it" time.
Golden Gaming ran through a controversy in 2004 getting a Major Coastal Zone Permit because St. Croix Coastal Zone Management committee members consider the Great Pond area a sensitive ecological area.
The permit was finally granted in January of this year. (See "Golden Resorts Gets Permission to Build at Great Pond").

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