PITTSBURGH (KDKA/AP) – Officials with Pittsburgh’s Rivers Casino told state gambling regulators they hope to begin building a $50 million hotel next year.

David Patent, president and chief operating officer of parent company Rush Street Gaming, revealed the plans during a three-hour hearing before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on Tuesday. The board is considering a three-year license renewal for the casino, which is expected to be granted.

Assuming it is, Patent says the casino hopes to break ground early next year.

“We’ve done some feasibility studies associated with the hotel and feel it would complement our existing facility, and we’re excited about advancing those plans now,” said Rivers Casino General Manager Craig Clark.

The grassy area between the casino and Science Center will house the hotel, which is just starting into its design phase.

“We actually have meeting right now with neighbors and Riverlife and the Science Center so we take all aspects of our neighbor into consideration as we design the hotel,” said Clark.

He says they know they want somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 rooms in seven or eight stories.

They’d like to get the construction underway as soon as January.

“We estimate that it will take about 18 months to build it, and create 1,400 construction jobs here in Pittsburgh,” Clark said.

Once completed, the casino’s hotel would be a convenience for Rivers patrons, but Clark hopes it also will become part of the new North Shore rebirth.

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