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A NEW Casino threat near Gettysburg Battlefield

Living History Sites has joined the fight to stop a casino from building near the Gettysburg Battlefield. We fought hard a few years ago, joining many local Gettysburg area groups and Battlefield Preservation, to get the word out about the proposed casino. We helped rally living historians, reenactors and homeschoolers against casino attempts.

Once again, we need to stand up to another proposal of a casino near the Gettysburg Battlefield.This time, the target is to take over the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center, and turn it into a casino.

We at Living History Sites are currently trying to ferret out information that we can give YOU, to fight this thing! 

Action Plan

1. Call the Eisenhower Hotel and Conference Center, at 717-334-8121, ask to speak to the manager, and flood his voice mail with calls saying NO CASINO.  They prominently feature reenactors on their website and proclaim that "Gettysburg is a national treasure." Good. Let's keep it that way. Send an email too This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

2. If you are on Facebook and Twitter join No Casino Gettysburg now, to get real time updates!

3. Join the Civil War Preservation Trust, a wonderful organization that helps preserve battlefields across America, and fights corporate takeover of battlefields. Donations to CWPT are greatly needed, please consider giving.

4. Help us start an email campaign urging anyone you know (Civil War reenactors, living historians, Civil War buffs, history lovers, homeschool families) to take action NOW. Flood the This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with emails.

We continue trying to ferret out information about this proposed casino near Gettysburg, and keep you updated on attempts to STOP this travesty. Please check back often!

David LeVan, a Gettysburg businessman, is the pushing to make this happen.  Stop his proposed Mason Dixon Resort - ugh. Another article here.

I have emailed and asked for permission to reprint this article from John Messeder in the Gettysburg Times newspaper here, and will keep it up UNTIL that I hear otherwise.

Casino foes gird for battle

By JOHN MESSEDER
Times Staff Writer
Published: Tuesday, December 1, 2009 7:33 AM EST
They claimed victory three years ago, and they intend to do it again — block a casino from being established in or near Gettysburg.

Gettysburg businessman and philanthropist David LeVan is seeking a license to establish a 500-machine casino based on the current Eisenhower Inn, a hotel and convention center on Emmitsburg Road, south of Gettysburg Borough.

No Casino Gettysburg has, in the past three days, created a presence on Twitter and Facebook — two social networking sites on the Internet — and has created its own networking site. At 4 p.m. Monday, the Facebook site boasted 1,054 members.

“Before Friday night, we had three members,” said Susan Star Paddock, licensed clinical social worker, consultant to social-purpose organizations, and organizer of the No Casino group.

“There’s a lot of energy,” she said.

Membership, according to the Facebook site, includes two officers: Paddock and IT Specialist Rachel C. Evans.

Paddock noted the proposed casino would place an adults-only facility within a half-mile of the Gettysburg National Military Park, and directly on an established Journey Through Hallowed Ground route that connects Gettysburg, at its northern end, with Monticello at the south.

The area also is home to a motorcycle shop, motels and bed and breakfast establishments, a so-called sports complex, and a Boyds Bears outlet.

Susan’s husband, landscape architect James Paddock, acknowledged the other commercial establishments, but he said casinos are different.

“They tend to have problems going in anywhere, like prisons and landfills,” he said, adding casinos also attract such features as “pawn shops and crime.

“I think they’re things that are real,” he said, referring to “all kinds of studies” he said support his belief.

Susan Star Paddock was less severe, but no less adamant in her opposition to the “adult-oriented” nature of the casino business.

“Are people under 18 allowed in casinos?” she queried, adding, “there is a distinction between an adults-only facility and adult entertainment.”

LeVan has been named in at least one other proposal to build a casino in Adams County, near Littlestown. The most recent speculation was that he would link it with Hanover Shoe Farms, a thoroughbred race horse breeding business.

But Susan Paddock pointed out LeVan had not actually applied for a license, or specified a place to locate the gaming facility.

“Now there is no application, but there is a specific site,” she said, “and a ... strong push to get an amendment to the table gaming legislation.”

The amendment would allow LeVan, who missed the previous application deadline, to seek the requisite state license.

Paddock pointed out Gov. Edward Rendell initially wanted the table gaming legislation passed “by Thanksgiving; now he wants it by Christmas.”

It is being discussed, along with the amendment, and Paddock said she feared it would come out of committee and be approved before the public had a chance to react.

In the 2006 application, LeVan proposed to build a casino, spa and hotel in the northeast quadrant of the U.S. 15/30 interchange.

Supporters said the facility would attract gamblers from the Baltimore-Washington, D.C metro areas, as well as areas closer to Gettysburg.

They also touted the union laborers who would build it and the high, for Adams County, wages of the employees who would staff it.

Led by No Casino Gettysburg and funded in part by Civil War Preservation Trust, opponents pointed out the adult nature of the facility, and noted efforts in Maryland to establish slot machine gaming in that state, separated only by a state line from Adams County.

The state gaming commission ended more than 18 months of controversy in December 2006 when, following a script clearly written during the board’s executive session the previous night, it awarded its two available “at-large” casino licenses to Mount Airy No. 1, in the Poconos, and Bethlehem Sands, in the Lehigh Valley.

By direct implication the controversial application for Crossroads Gaming Resort and Spa was denied, in part because of the strength of opposition to it being built near Gettysburg.

Paddock said her group’s early organization would be letting “letting legislators and Gov. Rendell know how we feel (about) any possibility of having a casino that close to hallowed ground.”

She called the battlefield “part of a public trust” established by Congress, and by implication by the people of the United States.

She noted the other businesses in the area of the Eisenhower Inn have in common, “you can bring children.

“I’m just saying that it doesn’t fit ... across the street from a teddy bear shop and a sports complex, and if they build a water park, (then) a water park,” she said, “and it especially doesn’t fit a half-a-mile from our national treasure.”

According to published reports, LeVan has an option to purchase the Eisenhower Inn complex if he is successful in his quest for a casino license.

Readers may contact John Messeder at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.