For Immediate Release: 04/13/06
Civil War Preservation Trust Announces the "Find the Poconos" Contest
CWPT is offering prizes to the first three individuals who find the word "Poconos" in its recent report on the economic impact of a proposed casino at Gettysburg.
(Washington) - On April 4, 2006, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) released an independent report about the impact of a large casino on Gettysburg and the surrounding region. In response to the report, entitled "The Impact of a Large Casino on the Gettysburg Area — A Realistic Assessment," Chance Enterprises issued a news release attacking CWPT for commissioning the report. Chance Enterprises is seeking approval for a casino just one mile from the Gettysburg Battlefield.
Among the "flaws" claimed by Chance in its news release is "CWPT's assertion that Gettysburg is located within a 2-hour drive of the Poconos, site of two other potential slots-only casinos." Chance spokesman Greg Beuerman was credited with a similar statement in the April 5, 2006 edition of The Gettysburg Times.
CWPT spokesperson Jim Campi remarked, "I don't know what report Chance has been reading, but I am unaware of any such statement in the Realistic Assessment report." Report author Michael Siegel, a 28-year veteran in the field of public and environmental finance and impact analysis, indicated that he doesn't believe the name "Poconos" even appears in the report. Campi surmised that, "With so many groups opposing the Gettysburg casino proposal, it is probably difficult for Chance Enterprises to keep them all straight."
Acknowledging that Chance Enterprises has far more financial resources and manpower than CWPT and the other groups opposing slots at Gettysburg, CWPT is enlisting the help of anyone with an interest in Gettysburg to participate in a contest to find the elusive reference to the Poconos in the Realistic Assessment report.
The first person to find the word "Poconos" in the Realistic Assessment report will receive The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson. The beautifully illustrated edition is individually numbered and signed by the author, who has previously referred to the proposed casino as "a tawdry, tasteless enterprise." Other book prizes will also be awarded to the second and third persons finding the word "Poconos" in the study. CWPT will also award merchandise to the first three contest participants who can find the phrase "The LIR is erroneous, unreliable, and misleading?."
The Realistic Assessment report is available online in Adobe Acrobat format at:
To enter the contest, send entries via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Copy the entire sentence from the report in which the reference to either the Poconos or the LIR's errors is found, and indicate its page number. Contestant's name, email address, and mailing address must accompany each entry. Each contestant may win only one prize.
Campi warns that some participants may be tempted to use the "search" function in Adobe Acrobat to locate references to the Poconos in the Realistic Assessment report. However, he urges individuals to read the report in its entirety. Not only will readers be more likely to find hidden references to the Pennsylvania resort, but they will also learn about the devastating impact a casino could have on the Gettysburg economy.
"Although Chance's statements are often laughably inaccurate, the sad truth is that a Gettysburg casino is no laughing matter," Campi stated. According to the Realistic Assessment report, a Gettysburg casino could divert $60 million of spending by existing visitors and residents from existing businesses to the proposed casino — a sizable share of Adams County's service and retail sector spending. In addition, the report provides ample evidence that a Gettysburg slots parlor would have difficulty competing with already established casinos in other states, as well as casinos to be built in other Pennsylvania locations. Finally, the study revealed that visitation to Vicksburg National Military Park (a site repeatedly referenced in the Chance Local Impact Report) plummeted by 21 percent in the first full year after casinos were introduced near the battlefield. Since then, Vicksburg Battlefield visitation has struggled to regain its pre-casino levels.
With 70,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation's remaining Civil War battlefields. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 22,300 acres of hallowed ground, including 591 acres at Gettysburg. Most recently, CWPT partnered with the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association to protect the Daniel Lady Farm at Gettysburg. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.