Friday, April 14, 2006

128: “Win a Prize in this Contest!”

Good friend Jim Campi at the Civil War Preservation Trust is making an offer of a prize to anyone who can find the word “Poconos” in their report on the realistic impact of a casino in Gettysburg (as opposed to the unrealistic ‘Local Impact Report’ [LIR] put out by the investment group behind the casino).

April 13, 2006

CWPT is offering prizes to the first three individuals who find the word “Poconos” in its recent report on the economic impact of a proposed casino at Gettysburg.

Gettysburg, PA – On Tuesday, the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) released an independent report about the impact of a large casino on Gettysburg and the surrounding region. In response to the report, entitled The Impact of a Large Casino on the Gettysburg Area – A Realistic Assessment, Chance Enterprises issued a news release attacking CWPT for commissioning the report. Chance Enterprises is seeking approval for a casino just one mile from the Gettysburg Battlefield.

Among the “flaws” claimed by Chance in its news release is “CWPT’s assertion that Gettysburg is located within a 2-hour drive of the Poconos, site of two other potential slots-only casinos.” Chance spokesman Greg Beuerman was credited with a similar statement in the April 5, 2006 edition of The Gettysburg Times.

CWPT spokesperson Jim Campi remarked, “I don’t know what report Chance has been reading, but I am unaware of any such statement in the Realistic Assessment report.” Report author Michael Siegel, a 28-year veteran in the field of public and environmental finance and impact analysis, indicated that he doesn’t believe the name “Poconos” even appears in the report. Campi surmised that, “With so many
groups opposing the Gettysburg casino proposal, it is probably difficult for Chance Enterprises to keep them all straight.”

Acknowledging that Chance Enterprises has far more financial resources and manpower than CWPT and the other groups opposing slots at Gettysburg, CWPT is enlisting the help of anyone with an interest in Gettysburg to participate in a contest to find the elusive reference to the Poconos in the Realistic Assessment report.

The first person to find the word “Poconos” in the Realistic Assessment report will receive The Illustrated Battle Cry of Freedom by James M. McPherson. The beautifully illustrated edition is individually numbered and signed by the author, who has previously referred to the proposed casino as “a tawdry, tasteless enterprise.” Other book prizes will also be awarded to the second and third persons finding the word “Poconos” in the study. CWPT will also award merchandise to the first three contest participants who can find the phrase “The LIR is erroneous, unreliable, and misleading….”

The Realistic Assessment report is available online in Adobe Acrobat format at:

To enter the contest, send entries via e-mail to Copy the entire sentence from the report in which the reference to either the Poconos or the LIR’s errors is found, and indicate its page number. Contestant’s name, email address, and mailing address must accompany each entry. Each contestant may win only one prize.

Campi warns that some participants may be tempted to use the “search” function in Adobe Acrobat to locate references to the Poconos in the Realistic Assessment report. However, he urges individuals to read the report in its entirety. Not only will readers be more likely to find hidden references to the Pennsylvania resort, but they will also learn about the devastating impact a casino could have on the Gettysburg economy.

“Although Chance’s statements are often laughably inaccurate, the sad truth is that a Gettysburg casino is no laughing matter,” Campi stated. According to the Realistic Assessment report, a Gettysburg casino could divert $60 million of spending by existing visitors and residents from existing businesses to the proposed casino – a sizable share of Adams County’s service and retail sector spending. In addition, the report provides ample evidence that a Gettysburg slots parlor would have difficulty competing with already established casinos in other states, as well as casinos to be built in other Pennsylvania locations. Finally, the study revealed that visitation to Vicksburg National Military Park (a site repeatedly referenced in the Chance Local Impact Report) plummeted by 21 percent in the first full year after casinos were introduced near the battlefield. Since then, Vicksburg Battlefield visitation has struggled to regain its pre-casino levels.

With 75,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its mission is to preserve our nation’s remaining Civil War battlefields. Since 1987, the organization has saved more than 22,300 acres of hallowed ground, including 591 acres at Gettysburg. Most recently, CWPT partnered with the Gettysburg Battlefield Preservation Association to protect the Daniel Lady Farm at Gettysburg.

CWPT’s website is located at

(For a copy of CWPT’s news release about the Realistic Assessment study, visit: )

As we have pointed out here on more than one occasion the various spokespersons Chance Enterprises have employed, including David LeVan, Barbara Ernico, and attorneys John Brabender, Jeff Ernico, and others, have been far less than forthcoming with the truth.

Ever since the CWPT surprised Chance Enterprises with the selection of Gettysburg Battlefield as one of its most endangered Civil War Battlefields, Chance spokespersons, starting with LeVan, have been taking potshots at the Trust. Indeed, LeVan’s initial reaction to the news was to make some wild accusations and spout some false information about the Trust and how it operates. (Read about this in GettysBLOG #
101: The David LeVan Show.) LeVan’s reaction oozed with vituperation. It was almost embarrassing to see in print, except when you realized who it was, and what he is trying to do to his own home town.

For the record, the proposed Casino is to be located less than two miles from the main Battlefield, less than 1 mile from the East Cavalry Field Battlefield, and less than half a mile from what is left of Camp Letterman, the huge tent hospital that served thousands of wounded from both sides after the battle. It’s marker sits alone on a trash-filled lot less than one quarter acre in size.

Not even David LeVan, who professes to love preservation so much, has lifted a finger to save Camp Letterman from development. His proposed casino will be about 2 miles from the historic Hunterstown area where George Armstrong Custer made his second of three attacks in four days against the vaunted JEB Stuart’s Cavalry Corps of the Army of Northern Virginia. Custer came away with victories in all three battles.

David LeVan trades on Custer’s success in his current business, Battlefield Harley Davidson, located about a half mile from the East Cavalry Field where Custer defeated Stuart for the third time. We believe that if and when his proposed license for the casino is approved, he will change its name back to Gettysburg Resort Casino and Spa, or some such name. That’s how much we trust David LeVan.

David LeVan trades on money, too, money spread around heavily in some areas. His $1 million gift to the Gettysburg College fund to restore the classic old Majestic Theater has bought him a spot on the front of the building for his and his wife’s name. It is the Majestic Theater at the David and Jennifer LeVan Performing Arts Center.

To me, that’s like giving Adolf Hitler an award for making Nazi Germany’s trains run on time. You do not reward someone who is trashing your town just because he is the biggest contributor.

GettysBLOG calls on all Gettysburg and Adams County residents to boycott the Majestic until that name comes down. He may be a rich philanthropist, but he has no concept of what is important to people in this area, even though he was born and raised and educated here. He is supposedly a successful businessman, but his success is measured in other people’s livelihoods. His success locally is measured in the noise and traffic of endless streams of motorcycles clogging our streets and highways, and a proposed casino that is antithetical to the very essence of Gettysburg. Indeed, no matter what lies he and his ‘partners in crime’ tell, no matter how much money they spread around in their attempt to buy good will, it will be detrimental to the essence of Gettysburg.

Three cheers for the Civil War Preservation Trust, an organization with the courage, and wherewithal to fight against a monied interest like Chance Enterprises and David LeVan. LeVan talks a good game, he makes claims that he has donated large sums for preservation (In fairness, he has helped with the Daniel Lady Farm, but to what extent it has come from his pocket is unknown. It is doubtful it comes anywhere near the $1 million he gave to the Majestic Theater, or to the $2 million empty promise he used to bribe the Borough Council for their positive testimony before the Gambling Control Commission.), but we have yet to see where it has preserved anything.

Three cheers for the Civil War Preservation Trust for maintaining their integrity and honesty in the fight against despite the opposition’s refusal to match it.

Huzzah! Huzzah! Huzzah!


“Kick the hubris out of Harrisburg!”

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" --GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” --GettysBLOG

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GettysBLOG said...

Well I looked and looked. I couldn't find it!