Rocky Gap State Park

Recreation




12500 Pleasant Valley Rd NE
Cumberland, MD 21530 Hagerstown Rate and review
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Description

Rocky Gap State Park is a publicly owned recreation area with resort features located on Interstate 68 (exit 50), east of Cumberland in Allegany County, Maryland. The state park's include Lake Habeeb, Evitts Mountain, and the privately owned and operated Rocky Gap Casino Resort. The park offers water recreation, camping facilities, and hiking trails. The park is managed by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, the resort by the Golden Casino Group.HistoryThe park originated with the donation of land by Edward Habeeb and others for the creation of a state park at Rocky Gap. Initial state purchases began in 1963 with land acquisition continuing until 1966. In 1970, the Army Corps of Engineers dammed Rocky Gap Run to create Lake Habeeb. The park opened in 1974. ResortThe Rocky Gap Resort and Golf Course was developed in 1998 by the Maryland Economic Development Corporation (MEDCO), an agency created in 1984 that allows the State of Maryland to directly own or develop property for economic benefit. The facility opened in April 1998 at a cost of $53.9 million. The resort failed to sustain its early success, began posting losses, and became dependent on MEDCO subsidies to stay in operation. CasinoIn 2009, the state's initial effort to open a casino in the park failed when the only bidder, Empire Resorts, did not pay the required $4.5 million licensing fee. Empire's contingent bid was based on Maryland altering its 67 percent tax on casinos—one of the highest in the United S

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