New Hampshire: Concord casino and hotel project approved by city’s Planning Board

The Concord Planning Board approved a proposal Wednesday night for the construction of a 45,000-square-foot casino and hotel. A company called Big Step is putting forth its plan to construct a charitable gaming hall, hotel, restaurant and a parking lot at 7 Break O Day Drive in the Gateway Performance District. 

The proposal is to build the project in two parts, starting with the gaming hall. The hotel and conference center would follow. The company argues a casino would help attract visitors while raising money for the community. 

“We’re just trying to build, actually, a pretty comprehensive opportunity for people to come to Concord to stay, to go to dinner, to some charitable gaming which again, raises money for charity,” said Andy Sanborn, managing member of the Concord Casino, as reported by WMUR.

In New Hampshire, 35% of gaming revenue in casinos is donated to charities. Some local groups, like the Concord Lions Club, said the extra funds from the proposed facility would help them expand their work. However, a chorus of other Concord residents said they are adamantly against the building of the new casino. 

For now, organizers said this debate will have to continue before final approval in the months to come. If the plan is fully approved, organizers said doors for the casino could open in 18 months. 

The plan was first presented in September. Back then, it was announced that the proposed facility would become the largest fundraiser for local charitable organizations in the county, which could potentially receive upwards of a five-figure yearly sum, yielding a total charitable value “of millions of dollars.” 

The first phase of the project would see a 24,000-square-foot gaming room with 634 seats and an 8,500-square-foot restaurant and brew-pub that could hold up to 150 diners. As for the impact on jobs, the establishment would employ over 250 people. It is expected to also drive visitors to the east side of the city.