New Casino Planned For Kansas
On Monday, representatives of the Castle Rock Casino Resort announced their plans to build a premier, $147 million, Las Vegas style casino and resort in Cherokee County, Southern Kansas.
Wichita businessmen Rodney Steven and Brandon Steven are at the head of a group of investors that they managed to cobble together, along with the plans for the casino, while investigating the possibility of placing a minor league hockey team in Joplin, Missouri, located about a mile away from the location of the casino.
The collection of investors proposed the $147 million casino on Monday, becoming the third such group to express an interest in competing for Kansas’ last remaining casino license.
The state currently has 3 privately built, state-owned casinos which were developed after a 2007 law was passed that allowed for the building of 4 casinos in specific areas of the state: Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane and the Hollywood Casino in Kansas City.
In the past, developers have tended to shy away from the available South-Eastern Kansas license due to its location, which is in close proximity to the Quapaw Tribe owned, Downstream Casino Resort in Oklahoma. The new Kansas casino would be a block away from the Oklahoma casino and would have to face stiff competition from the casino for visitors.
In an effort to increase interest in the fourth and final casino license, Kansas State lawmakers reduced the required initial investment amount, from $250 million, to just $50 million.
Several members of the group of investors appeared before the Cherokee County commissioners on Monday to get approval – a state law requirement – after which they held a conference where the Steven brothers were joined by David Burke, Dave Wells and other investors to showcase artist drawings of the casino.
During the presentation, Dave Wells spoke about the project, “It’s Kansas investors spending money in Kansas,” said the owner of Key Construction, “We hope to pull as many people as we can from Oklahoma, from Arkansas and from Missouri to spend their money in Kansas.”
Should the state select the Castle rock Casino Resort, the casino development would be 65000 square feet and would contain 1400 slot machines, 35 table games and a poker room that would hold 16 tables.
The resort project will include a 200-room hotel, three different restaurants, a spa as well as meeting rooms and convention centers. The Steven brothers have not forgotten their original plans for a minor league hockey team so the casino will also include a 5000 – 6000 seat arena.
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