Friday, April 1, 2016

Popular polka music festival returns to Tioga Downs for third year

Polkapalooza III offers free entertainment for all ages

Nichols, N.Y. - March 19, 2016 - In celebration of the centuries old tradition of polka music, Tioga Downs is hosting the third annual Polkapalooza music festival Saturday, April 2 from 11 am until 8 pm. The free event is open to people of all ages and features performances by four musical groups throughout the daylong event. Bands will entertain audiences on two stages throughout the day and evening.

Polkapalooza III features the return of Joe Stanky and the Cadets, who have been a part of the event since the beginning in 2014. They will perform from 11 am - 1 pm on the Coasters Stage. The popular polka group has been performing together for more than 30 years at venues across the country.

Also back for a third time this year to entertain fans is Fritz's Polka Band, which will perform from 1 - 3 pm on the Tioga Stage. This New York-based group strives to break down stereotypes about polka music and aims to entertain fans of all ages. The band has remained together for nearly 40 years and was even inducted into the Syracuse Area Music Hall of Fame in 2010.

New to the event in 2016 is Salt City Brass, which will take to the Coasters Stage from 3 - 5 pm. This group has been performing together since 1966 and specializes in polka music but also plays a wide variety of musical styles.

The evening culminates with John Stevens Doubleshot, returning for a second year, on the Tioga Stage from 5 - 8 pm. Since its formation in 1995, the band has entertained on Polka Cruises and currently has more than a dozen CD releases. John Stevens Doubleshot performs with promoting polka music to the younger generation in mind.

"We enjoy hosting this popular event each year," said owner Jeff Gural. "Families look forward to a chance to hear this unique style of music and enjoy a day of wholesome and free entertainment."

Local media personalities Roger Neel and Bill Flynn will serve as the guest emcees.
 Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Upcoming Tioga Downs job fair offers opportunities to join casino, racing teams

Interviews, same-day hiring expected

Nichols, N.Y. - March 22, 2016 - Tioga Downs is growing and needs talented people to join its winning team. The entertainment complex is hosting a job fair beginning this weekend that will offer participants same-day interviewing as well as on the spot hiring for more than 60 positions. Those interested in working for the racino should plan to attend this Saturday, March 26 from 10 am - 2 pm or next Tuesday, March 29 from 1 - 5 pm. Veterans have a special opportunity for early access to the job fair on Saturday from 9 - 10 am.

Tioga Downs will be looking to hire for positions in food and beverage, security, maintenance and racing (including mutuel tellers). Forty of the openings are seasonal positions to support harness racing season, which opens May 7 with a simulcast of the Kentucky Debry and runs through September 17. Open interviews will also be conducted for those interested in the next session of the dealer training program.

Anyone considering applying for a position should register online at www.tiogadowns.com/careers prior to the job fair.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Monday, March 14, 2016

Tioga Downs to host qualifiers for harness racing championship

Two upcoming opportunities offer entries into main event

Nichols, N.Y. - February 5, 2016 - Tioga Downs will send two lucky contestants to the largest harness handicapping event of its kind, the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Competition. Qualifying tournaments at Tioga Downs are set for February 20 and March 19, with one seat to the finals up for grabs at each event. Contestants can enter either tournament for a $60 entry
fee. The format of the tournaments requires contestants to make ten $2 win and place wagers on ten designated contest races. Contestants keep any winnings. The grand prize winner will also receive two nights of hotel accommodations and a $100 travel credit to the WHHC Final.

The winner of each contest will earn a spot in the WHHC Final to be held April 30 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Contestants there will vie for $50,000 in prizes (payouts to the top ten) and the coveted title of "harness handicapper of the year."

"The World Harness Handicapping Championship is a big event that people look forward to every year," said Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. "We are so pleased to be able to offer two highly sought after opportunities at our Tioga and Vernon properties to earn a spot to participate."

Qualifying events are also being held at Vernon Downs, the Meadowlands and numerous other racetracks and online sites.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Tioga Downs announces auditions for Rockokie singing contest

Audience to choose winners during final week

Nichols, N.Y. - March 1, 2016 - Tioga Downs invites talented local singers to audition this week for the Rockokie singing competition. The contest begins Thursday, March 3 at 4 pm with tryouts and continues Thursday evenings throughout March from 7 to 9 pm. Friends and family of competitors and the public are welcome to attend and witness the excitement of the live competition each week. There is no fee to enter the contest and no cover charge to attend.

The contest is open to "Your Club" members 18 and older. Contestants will audition by singing a song of their choice in front of three judges. The panel will select the top twenty performers to advance to the next round. Four contestants will be eliminated each week until twelve finalists remain. Once deemed a finalist, no further eliminations will be made, and audience votes will determine their rankings on March 31.

"We thought it would be a fun way to encourage finalists to pack the house for a friendly competition," said Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. "It will be up to the audience to choose their favorite performers."

A total of $10,000 in cash prizes will be given with a top award of $5,000 going to the first place finisher. Second place will receive $2,500, third place $1,000 fourth place $500, fifth place $300 and sixth through twelfth $100 each.

For those who enjoy singing without the pressure of a competition, karaoke will follow Rockokie every Thursday night in March from 9 pm until midnight.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Tioga Downs celebrates record weekend, seeks applicants for growing team

Tioga invites interested dealers to begin pre-screen process

Nichols, N.Y. - February 23, 2016 - Momentum continues to build for Tioga Downs as the racino celebrated its best weekend in history with new records for both credits played as well as monies paid out to guests. Collectively, visitors this past weekend placed a total of $12,875,181 in wagers, and $12,176,073 was paid out to guests.  On the heels of the best weekend in the racino's storied history, Tioga Downs has also announced that it is gearing up for open interviews for dealers to join its growing team.

"We are thrilled that so many players are enjoying the vibrant gaming atmosphere that Tioga Downs offers, and we are so pleased to be able to grow and welcome many from our community to join the Tioga Downs team in the very near future," said owner Jeff Gural.

Tioga Downs will hold a special Dealer Admission Fair this weekend for anyone wishing to learn more about dealer opportunities, including a free dealer training program.  As part of the Fair, open interviews to start the process for the dealer training program will be held this Friday, February 26 from 3 - 6 pm and Saturday, February 27 from 11 am - 1 pm. An additional session will be held Friday March 4th from 3 - 6 pm. Anyone considering applying for a position should register online at www.tiogadowns.com/expansion to receive information about upcoming opportunities.*

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

* Pending regulatory approval.  Participation in the Fair, interviews, or training is not an offer of or guarantee of employment.  You must be 18 to play video gaming machines.  Please play responsibly.  24 hour problem gambling hotline:  1-877-8HOPE-NY.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Tioga Downs pays tribute to 50’s, 60’s rock and roll hits

Tickets to see the Belmonts on sale now

Nichols, N.Y. - February 11, 2016 - Tioga Downs is taking music fans back to a simpler time with next month's band, the Belmonts. From rock and roll to doo wop, the quartet is known for its realistic renditions of popular fifties and sixties hits. The Belmonts will entertain Tioga Downs' audiences Saturday, March 5 at 7 pm and 9 pm.

"We are pleased to pay tribute to an era in American musical history that isn't celebrated nearly as often as it should be," said owner Jeff Gural. "We hope those who have enjoyed this style of music for many years will bring their loved ones to share in the experience."

Tickets are on sale now for only $10 per person and can be purchased at the Tioga Downs Gift Shop and all Ticketmaster locations.

Four male vocalists make up the singing sensation, the Belmonts, a group that has been performing together for decades. They have eight labels, including a Christmas album, to their credit. When they aren't recording music or performing on stage, the group is still busy streaming music into homes across the country through its Internet radio station. Special weekly programming includes a doo wop revival show, a rock and roll revue and a "collector's corner," featuring rare musical recordings. More information about the group, including a link to their radio station, can be found at www.thebelmonts.net.

The Belmonts also have a number of honors to their credit, including being inducted into the Doo Wop Hall of Fame and receiving the Key to the City of Buffalo, New York.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Friday, February 5, 2016

Tioga Downs to host qualifiers for harness racing championship

Two upcoming opportunities offer entries into main event

Nichols, N.Y. - February 5, 2016 - Tioga Downs will send two lucky contestants to the largest harness handicapping event of its kind, the $50,000 World Harness Handicapping Competition. Qualifying tournaments at Tioga Downs are set for February 20 and March 19, with one seat to the finals up for grabs at each event. Contestants can enter either tournament for a $60 entry
fee. The format of the tournaments requires contestants to make ten $2 win and place wagers on ten designated contest races. Contestants keep any winnings. The grand prize winner will also receive two nights of hotel accommodations and a $100 travel credit to the WHHC Final.

The winner of each contest will earn a spot in the WHHC Final to be held April 30 at the Meadowlands in New Jersey. Contestants there will vie for $50,000 in prizes (payouts to the top ten) and the coveted title of "harness handicapper of the year."

"The World Harness Handicapping Championship is a big event that people look forward to every year," said Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. "We are so pleased to be able to offer two highly sought after opportunities at our Tioga and Vernon properties to earn a spot to participate."

Qualifying events are also being held at Vernon Downs, the Meadowlands and numerous other racetracks and online sites.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs was recently recommended by the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board for a full gaming license. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tioga Downs brings back popular tribute concert

Spirit of Johnny Cash once again a sold out event

Nichols, N.Y. - January 28, 2016 - A popular tribute concert to legendary American musicians returns to Tioga Downs next month. The entertainment complex is bringing back The Spirit of Johnny Cash, which also features the music of Elvis Presley, Bruce Springsteen and more Saturday, February 6. This same show entertained a sold out audience during its 2013 run at Tioga Downs.

"We are confident fans of all ages will enjoy this show that highlights the music of some of the most influential musicians in history," said owner Jeff Gural. "We are pleased to be able to offer an evening of great entertainment at an affordable price."

The Spirit of Johnny Cash will occur on February 6 at 7 pm and 9 pm on the Tioga Indoor Stage. While tickets for both performances have already sold out, there will be a small number of tickets available for sale from VIP guests that register for comp tickets but do not show up to claim them.  The unclaimed VIP tickets will be made available on the evening of the show at the Tioga Downs Gift Shop for $10 per ticket.

Harold Ford is widely regarded as one of the best Johnny Cash tribute artists, bearing striking vocal and physical similarities to the late musician. Cash's own brother who has seen Ford perform sings his praises. After seeing his show in 2014, Tommy Cash told Harold, "There's hundreds of Johnny Cash impersonators, but you're different. I LIKED what I SAW!" (Source: http://thespiritofjohnnycash.com/). Tribute artist Laura Lucy joins Ford on stage as June Carter Cash.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic table games. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs is in the process of transforming into a full casino gaming resort to serve the Southern Tier and beyond as well as expanding its facility and workforce to accommodate live casino gaming. Construction on an expanded gaming complex is underway and Tioga Downs officials have confirmed that construction is on schedule.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Tioga Downs Declared a December Winner

Local Casino Brings Home Seven National Industry Awards

Nichols, N.Y. - January 25, 2016 - The results are in and Tioga Downs won in multiple categories for the December Best of Slots issue of Strictly Slots, the monthly magazine that highlights casinos and new slot machines and video poker games.

Tioga Downs received two first place awards and seven total awards out of 18 categories.

"The hard working and dedicated staff - from the top to the bottom - is why we were able to bring home these recognitions," Tioga Downs Owner Jeff Gural said. "I would like to express my sincere appreciation for all guests, staff and the region as a whole that have helped make Tioga Downs the premier entertainment destination in the Southern Tier."

The casino placed first in two categories, "Casino Where You Feel Luckiest" and "Best Comps." It also took home two second place prizes, "Best Nickel Slots" and "Best 50-cent Slots." Strictly Slots officials also named Tioga Downs to three third place wins in the "Best Video Slots," "Best Progressive Slots" and "Best Slot Club Promotions" categories.

Strictly Slots is a national monthly magazine aimed at slot machine and video poker players. The magazine focuses on upcoming, new slot machines and video poker games, as well as casino amenities. Strictly Slots features regular articles from notable gambling authors, including Bob Dancer, Jeffrey Compton, Frank Legato and Frank Scoblete. Strictly Slots is published by the Casino Publishing Group, which also publishes Casino Player magazine, America's most popular gaming magazine.  Typical Strictly Slots topics include the following: history of slot machine, the principle of slot machine work, new strategies for playing video poker, casino reviews and latest casino news.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic roulette. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs is in the process of transforming into a full casino gaming resort to serve the Southern Tier and beyond as well as expanding its facility and workforce to accommodate live casino gaming. Construction on an expanded gaming complex is underway. Tioga Downs officials have confirmed that construction is on budget as well as on schedule.  The poker room, which represents the first phase of the casino expansion, is expected to open July 1.  In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Tioga Downs celebrates successful year, looks ahead to even better 2016

Continued investment planned in Winterfest, new construction 

Nichols, N.Y. - January 8, 2016 - After a successful 2015, Tioga Downs is ringing in the new year by announcing plans for increased investment in its events and the facility. Winterfest, the free family-friendly celebration of the holiday season, drew more than 13,000 people to the entertainment complex last month. The festivities ran two fewer days in 2015, but total Winterfest attendance saw an increase of 3,000 visitors from the previous year. The number of visitors watching the holiday parade more than tripled compared to 2014.

"Word has spread that Winterfest is the community holiday gathering not to be missed," said Tioga Downs owner Jeff Gural. "That coupled with December's unseasonably warm weather made Tioga Downs the place to be this year." Temperatures on three Winterfest dates reached into the 50s.

Special activity nights proved popular again this year with more people coming out to enjoy the light show and brand new family photo booth area as well as the ice bar, craft show and ice sculpting evenings. Hundreds of guests enjoyed visiting the live reindeer, and additional new attractions are already being planned for Winterfest 2016.

Tioga Downs' revenues were up for the year by more than a million dollars, and the addition of full gaming this year promises to yield further increases for 2016.

"Additional revenue means more opportunities for us to invest in our community," Gural said. "Tioga Downs remains thankful for the public support that made the gaming license possible and remains committed to giving back in every way we can."

Construction on an expanded gaming complex is underway. Tioga Downs officials have confirmed that construction is on budget as well as on schedule.  The poker room, which represents the first phase of the casino expansion, is expected to open July 1.

Tioga Downs offers live harness racing, video lottery terminals, video poker and electronic roulette. A variety of eateries are also part of the current entertainment complex. Jeff Gural owns Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY and Vernon Downs in Vernon, NY. Tioga Downs is beginning the process of transforming into a full casino gaming resort to serve the Southern Tier and beyond as well as expanding its facility and workforce to accommodate live casino gaming. In the last decade, Tioga Downs and Vernon Downs have created more than 700 family-sustaining jobs and donated millions to nonprofit organizations. For more information on Tioga Downs, please visit www.tiogadowns.com.