Twenty months after opening for business, Resorts World Casino New York City has opened its link to the New York City subway.
The enclosed skybridge that was built in 2011 also opened for business this week, directly connecting the casino to the Aqueduct Racetrack station on the A line.
The stop was inaugurated with a celebration on a rainy Tuesday morning in which many patrons utilized the new skybridge to escape the elements.
The celebration included performances by the Knicks City Dancers and rapper Doug E. Fresh at the casino’s main stage at Bar 360.
“More than 12 million people visit Resorts World each year,” said Edward Farrell, the casino’s president, said at the celebration. “Now many of them can come directly by train.”
The station predates the casino, but was renovated in the last few years. It has only one platform, serving Manhattan-bound trains, and only operated on race days until this month. It is only about 1,000 feet north of the full-time Aqueduct-North Conduit station, which has access to the racetrack parking lot next door to the casino.
Resorts World invested $15 million into the station and the skybridge. There are two stairs leading to the station at the edge of the Resorts World parking field, only steps from a gate at Pitkin Avenue, where residents of the nearby community can access the subway. Many commuters in the area of Ozone Park adjacent to the station take buses to Rockaway Boulevard to access the subway.
“We applaud Resorts World for providing the skybridge for its patrons and for delivering an elevator-equipped, accessible access point to the city’s subway system here in our community,” said Community Board 10 Chairwoman Betty Braton.
The station was originally due to open more than a year ago, but took longer than expected because of the amount of work that had to be done at the decaying stop, which opened as a subway stop in 1956, but existed for decades before as part of the Rockaway Beach Long Island Rail Road line.
There are plans to expand the station to serve Rockaway-bound trains, but those have not gotten far yet. In the meantime, patrons coming from Manhattan and Brooklyn can access the casino by getting off at Aqueduct-North Conduit and walking or hopping on a Manhattan-bound train.
Farrell said there are plans to rename the station after Resorts World since the MTA changed its policy last month to allow naming rights to stations, but those plans are still in the early stages.