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Casino's new sign plan offers a glimmer of hope

Casino's new sign plan offers a glimmer of hope

Casino, city won't miss 80-foot pylon sign

No one planning to visit the new Schenectady casino is going to get lost trying to find it.

They'll either just check the maps on their phones or follow one of the many zillion of signs and billboards on the highway and in the city that no doubt will direct them there.

A garish glowing eight-story electric sign plopped right outside the entrance isn't needed to either direct people to the casino or advertise it.

So it is with much relief and more than a glimmer of hope that Rush Street Gaming has, at least for the meantime, abandoned its plans for an 80-foot-tall electric pylon sign at the intersection of Nott and Erie and cut its total plans for signs on the property roughly in half.

In a new plan submitted to the city on Wednesday, the casino operators show they plan to attach most of their signs to the new five-story parking garage and other buildings on the site facing Erie Boulevard. Nothing will face the river and only small signs will face the other directions.

Surely, there must be plans for some kind of modest-sized streetside sign in the works in addition to these. And that's OK. No one objects to movie theaters or shopping centers advertising what they offer with reasonably sized signs out by the road. Casual visitors to the city might want to know who's performing at the casino or what restaurants are open, and be enticed to stop in.

But this isn't Las Vegas or Reno or Atlantic City. The casino isn't competing with any other venue but itself. It doesn't need the biggest, brightest sign on the strip to set itself apart — even though the city hastily gave its permission for one.

With a modest entrance sign and the other planned signs on the buildings, patrons will still be able to know what's going on at the casino, while residents won't have to endure a giant eyesore big enough and bright enough to attract aliens from outer space (if you believe in those sorts of things).

Let's hope this isn't a bait-and-switch deal.

When or if the casino operators complete their full sign package, let's hope they ultimately give the public plenty of notice, including a look at drawings of what the sign or signs will look like from the street.

And if the operators plan to go back to the giant pylon idea, they should let everyone know now, so the proper studies on its impact on surrounding neighborhoods can be thoroughly prepared and analyzed.

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