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Proposed St. Regis Mohawk Casino Takes First Step toward Earning LEED(R) Certification.

St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Empire Resorts Move Closer to Building the Northeast's First LEED Certified 'Green' Casino

MONTICELLO, N.Y. -- The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe and Empire Resorts (NASDAQ: NYNY) announced today that the proposed St. Regis Mohawk Casino at Monticello Raceway has taken a first step toward LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Green Building Certification. The group has registered the casino project with the U.S. Green Building Council.

The action was the first step towards achieving the construction of the first LEED Certified 'green' casino in the Northeast.

Documentation demonstrating that the project has successfully met the sustainable design and performance criteria set forth within the LEED Green Building Rating System must be submitted, reviewed, and approved by USGBC before the building is officially certified. LEED is a registered trademark of the U.S. Green Building Council.

"We are proud that the LEED certification process is underway and are thrilled by the results of the pre-certification analysis," said Mohawk Tribal Chief Lorraine White. "This will be the first casino of its type - and one of the first of any type in the nation - to achieve LEED certification. This clearly underscores our commitment to protecting the environment."

"Empire Resorts is excited about starting the process that will earn LEED certification, a prestigious recognition that has been a focal point of Empire Resorts and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe throughout the planning for the casino," said Dave Hanlon, CEO of Empire Resorts. "We expect the St. Regis Mohawk Casino to become a model for all future facilities concerned with protecting the environment."

To earn LEED certification, a building project must meet certain prerequisites and performance benchmarks in five key areas of human and environmental health - sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, and indoor environmental quality.

Steven Winter Associates, Inc. (SWA), will be directing the LEED certification process -- which will be led by Andrew Hathaway, LEED faculty, and the first LEED-accredited professional in New York. LEED was created to define "green building" by establishing a common standard of measurement; promote integrated whole-building practices; and recognize environmental leadership in the building industry. SWA is a pioneer in the green building industry with over 35 years of experience in consulting and design, and in the use of the LEED rating system for new construction and existing buildings. The firm has LEED-certified a growing number of buildings, including the first LEED-certified building in New York State.

"We are very pleased to be part of this exciting new project," said Steven Winter, "and to provide Empire Resorts with the kind of leadership and guidance they require to make the project both environmentally sound as well as an important asset to the community."

As the USGBC Chairman from 1999 to 2003, Steven Winter played an important role in promoting the widespread use of the LEED system. SWA's expertise and familiarity with the program has made its LEED consulting and certification services an essential part of major building projects throughout the country.

The plan for the St. Regis Mohawk Casino, a $600-million project which is being developed by Empire Resorts and the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, originally was analyzed through a dual environmental review process which included both an Environmental Assessment following the National Environmental Protection Act standards, and an Environmental Impact Statement under the State Environmental Quality Review Act.

About Empire Resorts

Empire Resorts is the parent company of the group developing the Monticello Raceway Casino project. The $600 million plus complex has been designed to include 3,500 slot machines, 125 table games, restaurants, shops, year-round entertainment events and a 600-person show lounge. Empire Resorts is now waiting for the Department of the Interior to grant approval for land to be placed into trust for the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe. For more information, please see the company's website at www.empireresorts.com.

About the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribal Council is the duly elected and federally recognized government of the Mohawk people. For more information, please see the St. Regis Mohawk Environmental Division, "For the Next Seven Generations" at www.srmtenv.org.
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Publication:Business Wire
Date:Jun 19, 2007
Words:687
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