Catasauqua Press

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Sands, SteelStacks subject of new PBS39 documentary

Wednesday, January 2, 2013 by The Press in Focus

PBS39 premieres its latest documentary, "Bringing New Life to Old Steel," 8:30 p.m. Jan. 6.

From the award-winning producers of "Bethlehem Steel: The People Who Built America," comes a documentary a decade in the making which tells the story of a new economic engine filling the void left by Bethlehem Steel Corp.

The program explores how the community debated the pros and cons of allowing gaming in Bethlehem and shows how the partners invested more than $800 million and turned the largest private brownfield in America into a destination for arts, entertainment, culture and gaming.

"This story speaks to the power of partnerships and to the ultimate success of those who dream big," said Timothy S. Fallon, PBS39 CEO. "The production team at PBS39 has captured this unique and complicated story in a way that only they can, with an engaging and visually dynamic approach."

Viewers learn how a development partnership purchased the former Bethlehem Steel land and brought in the Las Vegas Sands Corp. after the Pennsylvania legislature approved gaming. The documentary shows how a mixed-use development plan wove together the site's history with 21st century ideas, technology, and culture.

"This is a pivotal documentary that tells one of the greatest stories of our region," said Amy Burkett, PBS39 Television Station Manager and executive producer. "We show how a sleeping giant was transformed into a vibrant community and serves as an economic model for other cities across the country."

"Bringing New Life to Old Steel" producer-writer Grover Silcox added, "Viewers will see the casino's ground-breaking and whirlwind construction. They'll see new steel arrive at the old mill. They'll see table games approved by the state and the completion of a 300-room hotel, the tallest in the Lehigh Valley. They'll also learn how the shadows of the iconic blast furnaces made the perfect home for arts and culture created by ArtsQuest and PBS39."

In 2012, the Sands casino topped Pennsylvania in table games. By the end of 2012, the Sands will pay more than $180 million in state taxes, which includes $20 million from table games and $19 million in host fees for Bethlehem, Allentown, Easton and suburbs.

Interviews include those with Bethlehem Mayor John Callahan, Sands Casino Resort President Bob DeSalvio, Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board Commissioner Gregory Fajt, and former Bethlehem Steel President Hank Barnette.

The PBS39 award-winning production team included: Amy Burkett, Executive Producer; Grover Silcox, Producer-Writer; Lisa Robinson, Editor; Tyler Glenn, Production Manager; Laura McHugh, Associate Producer; and Luke Johnson, Eric Werner and Jeff Frederick, Videographers