The Poconos , which can be found in Pennsylvania, once used to be the perfect weekend getaway. Whether you wanted to ski, hike, camp, or fish, the Poconos had it all to offer. It was also recognized as a wonderful honeymoon area at one point in time. Nowadays, however, many things have changed. What used to be the perfect place for anyone who wanted to camp, fish, or hike has turned into a high crime area. Newspaper articles are constantly filled with articles about bank robberies, shootings, gang affiliated crimes, drug related crimes, sexual offenders, and even stabbings in the local school systems. Many people now refer to the Poconos area as “Mini New York City.” According to the locals of the Poconos area, the main reason for such crime is the high amount of parents who work in New Jersey and New York, leaving their children to fend for themselves during the entire week until they return on weekends. And now, what was once considered the perfect honeymoon resort will be restored – into a casino.
Mt. Airy Lodge is expected to be turned into a casino by fall of 2007. The hotel and casino are supposed to take up about 200 acres of the property, right alongside the golf course that the lodge will have to offer. The predicted real estate value of Mt. Airy Lodge is about $360 million. It is estimated that there will be between three thousand and five thousand slot machines at this casino.
Other casinos are predicted to open in the Poconos area after Mt. Airy Lodge has opened.
The issue of gambling coming to the Poconos is a very controversial one. There are many people out there who believe that it can do nothing for the area, which already needs improving. The people who are against it fear that it will bring nothing but gambling addictions and more crime-related problems that the Poconos do not need.
On the other hand, there are also many people out there who believe that the opening of casinos will be very beneficial to the Poconos. Although the area is known to only have a population of about three hundred thousand right now, these numbers are growing quickly. In the next five years, this number is expected to more than double, with the 270,000 new homes with are expected to be built. One can easily say that if the Poconos are not overcrowded enough right now, it is only going to get worse.
However, the main problem which is associated with the high number of people is the fact that there are not very many jobs which are available in this area as it is. The positions which are available for people in the Poconos are mainly low paying ones, such as those at fast food chains and resorts. The opening of casinos will provide job openings in the area. Even better, it will provide job positions which pay more than money than many of the positions which are currently available.
Whether the casinos in the Poconos area will bring more harm or good is controversial. Most people do find it sad that an area which was once recognized for its overall beauty and nature aspects is now becoming overrun with crime. They just hope that the casinos in the Poconos area does not bring more crime.