Plan floated for shipboard casino

    The people trying to rescue the SS United States — that enormous rusting hulk of a cruise liner moored in South Philadelphia — have imagined it as a Foxwoods casino.

    The SS United States Conservancy said their plan to turn the once-glorious cruise liner into the centerpiece of a casino complex will satisfy Foxwoods’ need for a destination casino, the city’s waterfront development plan, and rescue the historic ship from the scrap yard — all in one fell swoop.

    The plan includes building a parking structure and slots hall on the riverbank, and using the ship for table games, restaurants and nightclubs.

    Architect Steven Varenhorst said much of the riverbank would be open to the public.

    “It has 600,000 square feet — way more than we need. It takes square footage off the site and puts it on the ship, freeing up the land for us to use for that public space,” said Varenhorst.

    The head of Penn Praxis – the design group driving the city’s waterfront development plan – said the plan is in accordance with a multi-use vision of the river’s edge.

    So far the plan is still a pie in the sky — it was not generated by Foxwoods; so far, the casino’s representatives have no comment on it. The investment partners are racing to develop an acceptable casino plan before their license is revoked.

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