After sinking millions of dollars into the dream of a world-class tourist destination in the mountains of Western Maryland, the state is poised to cut its losses and turn the Rocky Gap hotel and conference center over to a private company that plans to open a casino at the lakeside resort.
The Board of Public Works is scheduled to vote Wednesday on the final series of agreements needed to complete the transfer of the $54 million complex in Allegany County from the quasi-public Maryland Economic Development Corp. to Evitts Resort LLC, which plans to eventually install 1,000 slot machines at the site.
The board’s expected approval would mark a new beginning for the resort. It also would mark an end to a state-backed venture that began almost two decades ago as an effort to bring an infusion of economic vitality to a perennially depressed part of Maryland. Instead, the resort near Cumberland has piled up losses year after year as occupancy has lagged.