Tioga Downs to cash in on local golf course

By Perry Russom

April 17, 2014 Updated Apr 17, 2014 at 6:22 PM EST

Nichols, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The battle for the casino bids are heating up, and one in Tioga County is making a potential move to expand.

Potential casino owners are positioning themselves against each other with what they could offer the Southern Tier.

On Wednesday, Tioga Downs unveiled more plans. They said if they won a casino bid, they will take over Tioga Country Club, in Nichols, and build a new clubhouse.

"The clubhouse we're going to build will be nothing short of spectacular," said Tom Osiecki, President of Tioga Downs. "There will be nothing like it in the area. It's a beautiful course and its located three miles away from us, so it couldn't be any better."

They have signed a 99-year lease option for the Tioga Country Club, but it will only got through if they get the full casino gaming license.

Owner of Tioga Downs Jeff Gural has said if his racino doesn't get the bid, they might be forced to close, but if Tioga Downs closes, will that lead to a spiraling effect for the County?

"No, I don't think so," said NYS Senator Thomas O'Mara (R). "Tioga County is a vibrant community we still have all of the assets here. You know, it's close to the Finger Lakes, Binghamton activities, the Corning activities."

Tioga Downs also announced WinterFest on Thursday.

It will be a holiday light show at the racino between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day.