SS United States to have casino role?
The SS United States could house a floating casino. The SS United States Conservancy is working to find a way to raise the cash to exercise the purchase option that it holds to buy the ship from its owners, Norwegian Cruise Line
That option expires on January 31, 2011, and the Conservancy has been hustling to do what it needs to take title to the historic transatlantic liner. Meantime, casino giant Harrah’s and its local partner, Philadelphia Entertainment and Development Partners (PEDP), also face a deadline. By December 10, they must show the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board that they have gotten commitments for a proposed development in South Philadelphia on what’s called “the Foxwoods site,” or face losing a gaming license issued four years ago.
The Foxwoods site is located on the Delaware River between Philadelphia’s Reed and Tasker streets.
The SS United States Conservancy is set to unveil a feasibility study that proposes making the “Big U” the focus of a development at the site that would make the ship the center piece of a complex that incorporates hotel space, restaurants, retail and office space, residential development, parkland and a marina, nature reserves, and (no surprise) a casino.
Though initial casino development would be in the shoreside part of the complex, casino facilities on the liner would follow.
If the casino plan doesn’t fly, the conservancy says it also continue to explore other possible development plans for the vessel, including several in cities other than Philadelphia.
The conservancy is making it plain that the SS United States is still a long way from being saved. It says that Mr. Lenfest’s $5.8 million pledge, announced in July, is “the first step of a long journey toward redeveloping the vessel as a stationary attraction. Much work at significant cost lies ahead of us.”
WTF! Are mega resort/casinos the only things left we can build and how in the hell does the SSUS add to this brain fart plan? Who will finance all of this abominable idea? Donald Trump? The Chinese? The ship is a gutted hulk that needs to be taken offshore in deepwater, given a proper funeral and scuttled, but with scrappers paying over $300US a ton for ships to scrap she will inevitably end up like all the other vintage streamers like INDEPENDENCE, cut to pieces on a beach in Bhavnagar. This kubki dance over the fate of the SSUS is getting painful to keep watching…it just needs to END! The SSUS Conservancy is NEVER going to get the money they need to save what was once a proud ship but is now just a corpse waiting to be buried.
When the day finally comes when it is announced that the tugs are on the way to tow her to India, I will feel sad and be reflective that the flagship on the US Merchant Marine during its zenith will be soon gone forever, but like that great fleet of ships which has passed into memory, the memory of the SSUS will always remain.