January 15, 2013
Sakonnet Bridge Tolls? Bye Bye $2.6 - $16 million in State Slot Revenue
Several months ago, I contacted Newport Grand to ask what percentage of their visitors came from Massachusetts so that we could project how much tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge would cost them in business - and, by extension, cost the state in lost revenue from the slot parlor. I didn't get very far, leaving messages on two-three occasions but never getting a call back.
Now, the AP and the ProJo report second hand that Newport Grand has provided the answer to the Newport Daily News (behind a pay wall). From the ProJo this afternoon:
CEO Diane Hurley warned of the revenue loss in a letter to the chairman of the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, joining a large number of area residents and businesses opposed to the planned tolls.
The Newport Daily News reports Hurley wrote that tolls could deter many southeastern Massachusetts residents from traveling to Newport Grand and cost Rhode Island's government $2.6 million to $16 million in lost revenue annually from the slot parlor.
Setting aside all of the very good reasons that tolls on the Sakonnet bridge are a bad idea and just sticking to the financials: did the General Assembly factor the loss of this revenue into their decision to toll the Sakonnet River Bridge?
[Monique is Deputy Editor of the RISC-Y Business Newsletter.]