SugarHouse opens doors for sneak peek

FISHTOWN - September 16, 2010

There was cleaning, repairing and training as hundreds of employees, including construction workers, feverishly put down the finishing touches.

"We had over 20,000 applications for 800 jobs, so we were able to be very selective. We looked for a specific kind of personality," said Wendy Hamilton, the general manager of SugarHouse Casino. "We have people here who will just blow you away. They are unbelievable."

Hamilton gave us the grand tour of the 45,000 square foot casino boasting 1,600 slot machines, and 40 live table games.

Sugar House, Philadelphia's first and only casino so far, will finally open its doors after several legal battles and protests from the neighbors of the Fishtown community.

Dan Hajdo from Casino Free Philadelphia says an establishment like this in Fishtown is not going to work, and they will continue to fight.

"We've been fighting it ever since they announced they were opening it just 300 feet from residences," he said.

Hajdo added that his organization successfully delayed SugarHouse from opening for 30 months, and the casino is opening with 1/3 fewer slot machines.

Hamilton says she'll do her best to get in their good graces.

"There are people who don't think we'll be a good neighbor, and they're allowed to hold that opinion. We're going to work forever to show that we are a good neighbor," she said.

On Monday and Wednesday SugarHouse will be holding invitation-only testing of table games, with the proceeds going to charity.

SugarHouse officially opens to the public at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday, September 23rd.

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