New owner plans $30M for Rocky Gap slots
Lakes Entertainment of Minneapolis has announced plans to pump $30 million into converting meeting space into a slots parlor in the Rocky Gap Resort in Allegany County.
The state awarded a license to the company in April to create a casino at the golf resort and 215-room hotel.
The company plans to renovate the existing facilities to convert about 24,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission disclosure. The casino will have at least 500 slot machines, a bar and a food outlet. Following passage of Tuesday’s voter referendum, the casino will be able to offer poker, blackjack and other table games.
Lakes acquired the assets of the Rocky Gap Resort in August for $6.8 million.
$1.1 million goes to energy projects
From a biomass-fueled greenhouse boiler to solar and wind projects, the state has awarded five clean-energy projects a total of $1.1 million in competitive grants.
The Maryland Energy Administration this week announced the winners in its new Game Changer Competitive Grant Program,” which was created to provide cost-sharing grants for innovative clean-energy technologies and market strategies in the state.
The winners embrace either a new technology or a new methodology that extends beyond existing renewable energy generation, according to an agency statement. Winners were evaluated on the merits of their energy production, cost-effectiveness, market potential, project viability, cost share, project performance measurement and verification methodology, and project visibility.
The funding is based on the projects’ ability to help the state meet its renewable energy portfolio standard of 20 percent by 2022; the winners’ progress will be evaluated in two years.
The following projects won grants:
— Catoctin Mountain Growers in Frederick County received $250,000 for its $3 million greenhouse biomass boiler project.
— Skyline Innovations won $176,000 for its $1.3 million solar water-heating projects for multifamily units in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel counties and Baltimore city.
— Nonprofit MD Goes Green, a division of the Land and Cultural Preservation Fund, won $219,200 for its $2.4 million project to help develop community-scale wind projects throughout the state.
— TimberRock Energy Solutions of Frederick County, working with General Motors, won $170,118 for its $365,481 project to develop a photovoltaic electric vehicle charging system.
— An award of $250,000, out of a total project cost of $2 million, will help support Standard Solar’s installation of a solar-energy microgrid at the Konterra mixed-used development. The project, at the intersection of Interstate 95 and the Intercounty Connector, will feature billboard-sized monitors visible from nearby highways that show motorists how much solar energy is being generated at any given time, even during power outages.
Survey: State’s life scientists faring well
Although salaries of life scientists in many leading states have swung considerably in recent years, those in Maryland have remained high and fairly stable since the depths of Great Recession in 2008, according to data from a recently released annual survey by The Scientist magazine.
In 2008, Maryland’s life scientists reported an annual average salary of about $94,000. That climbed to almost $100,000 in 2009, fell to about $95,000 last year, but rebounded to $96,500 in this year’s survey, which was based on usable answers from 4,753 respondents.
Maryland’s life scientists now have the second-highest average salary in the nation — versus the top spot in 2008 — as New York’s average shot up to $101,500 this year. Among the other top 10 states, almost all took major dips in 2010, while salaries in Maryland and New York dropped only slightly.
Among the other trends highlighted by the magazine:
— Industry salaries remain higher than those in academia and nonprofits.
— The gender gap continues, with women earning less than men at all levels of supervisory responsibility. “The percentage difference in earnings is remarkably consistent across positions,” according to the magazine.