The Lions Gate Studios / MGM Grand Resorts’ Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway Hezitorial
Update: As of September 18, 2019th it has now been learned that instead of Nick Spano, David Patterson, former New York State Governor has been given the responsibility to be the lobbyist for MGM Grand Resorts.
Update: Sources with knowledge assert that Nick Spano is not the lobbyist for Lions Gate Studies, nor is anyone of his firm a lobbyist for either company!
YONKERS, NY — September 16, 2019 — Yonkers Tribune insiders with knowledge have advised that within one week of learning that Lions Gate Studios’ announcement of their plans to build the most sophisticated movie studios along the Hudson River. The property is situated behind the Yonkers Metro North Train station, is a federal development opportunity designated property, and Lobbyist Nick Spano, under the aegis of his lobbying firm Empire Strategic Planning has clinched the deal.
About eight days later we have also learned from people with knowledge, that Nick Spano, using the persona of another Empire Strategic Planning firm member has resuscitated his efforts to represent Empire City Casino as its lobbyist.
The former New York Senator, since disgraced, and having served jail time, is thereby a felon.
In the recent past, Nick Spano beseeched MGM Grand Resorts to afford him the opportunity to represent them upon his learning that MGM had purchased Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway from the Rooney Family. Nick Spano’s Empire Strategic Planning had represented the interests of Empire City Casino from the inception of Empire Strategic Planning as one of its initial clients. Upon approaching MGM when learning of the impending sale of Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway to MGM Grand Resorts, the former New York State Senator approached MGM to ask if they would consider hiring him as their lobbyist. MGM Grand had no qualms in advising Nick Spano that do not employ felons.
That was then; yet this is now. Yonkers Tribune have recently learned that MGM has now decided to engage Empire Strategic Planning (ESP) in the persona of an ESP staff member as the front man/woman while Nick Spano works behind the scenes without divulging his involvement to the public. A most interesting ploy indeed.
Despite ESP and Nick Spano’s past, it is telling to learn that Lions Gate Studios must have concluded that in order to gain approval for the development and build out of the studios the envisioned and are planning to initiate build out from this November, intentioned to be completed in the fall of 2020, that they too have quickly come to realize that “Nick’s the Man”. Nick is the only game in town. Nick Spano has been permitted an exclusive choke-hold strangle that has him lauding over a “pay to play” lobbying enterprise exclusive, if you want to move things along. After all, Nick Spano is Mayor Mike Spano’s older brother.
The outcome is that both well respected firms have come to realize that in order to move their projects ahead, Nick Spano and ESP are the only game in town. If Nick Spano and/or his firm are not engaged financially, the firms interested in developing or moving anything forward in Yonkers is an obvious “no go”. The takeaway is that this is “Spano Country” and no one else need apply. The American concept of the integrity and veracity of competition has been ripped to shreds. The City of Yonkers has elevated Nick Spano and Empire Strategic Planners to an exclusive hold on the City of Yonkers, the fourth largest city in New York State. No one other than Nick Spano / Empire Strategic Planning need apply.
Empire Strategic Planning represents the interests of the Yonkers Police Benevolent Association (YPBA) to the tune of $48,000 per annum, and also represents the Yonkers Captains, Lieutenants, and Sergeants Association (YCLSA) to the tune of $24,000 annually, as well as other unions, best defined as the ”family and friends” network. The “conflict of interest” is that both the Yonkers PBA and the Yonkers CLSA have each had lobbyists represent their respective interests retained in Albany, New York, the state capital, years before Nick Spano entered the lobbying business. Those lobbyists are still employed by the Yonkers PBA and the Yonkers CLSA. And that is where the conflict of interest rears its ugly head.
Because Nick Spano is Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano’s older brother, Nick Spano is not permitted to broach any YPBA and/or YCLSA issues with Yonkers Mayor Mike Spano by law. To do so would be a conflict of interest. If anyone considers it plausible that the brothers don’t talk about Yonkers-centric issues with one another, it is time for me to buy a straw hat and eat it.
The games that Nick Spano is playing are now underfoot with greater vigor and drive.