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New $40 million casino could open in Cedar Rapids

wild rose casinoA brand new land-based could be opened up in Iowa in the near future. Plans are afoot for a massive boutique casino in downtown Cedar Rapids, if proposals for such a project are accepted. The expected project could cost upwards of $40 million.

The new casino was proposed by Wild Rose Resorts, who are centred in West Des Moines. Two years ago, another casino project was rejected by the Iowa Racing and Gaming commission. That far grander project – then projected to cost upwards of $174 million – was rejected after local casinos feared that it would eat into their own revenues. There doesn’t appear to be the same concerns with the new casino project. In fact, there is widespread support for the project.

Support for the project

The new casino project already has Council Bluffs officials on-board, and and other casinos in the vicinity have already stated that the new venue shouldn’t have too much of a detrimental impact on their own income. Marketing Director for the Horseshoe and Harrah’s casinos in Council Bluffs insists that most of their clientele come from the Council Bluff-Omaha metro region, so the clientele for the new casino and resort are unlikely to be out-of-towners, who would be staying for considerably longer, and require hospitality which the new project cannot yet provide, but their casinos can.

New casino features

According to plans for the new casino resort, the Wild Rose casino resort would feature a first-floor parking garage, with the second floor being dominated by the casino itself. The third and fourth floors of the resort would be dedicated to commercial aspects. At this moment in time, there are no plans for entertainment, lodging facilities such as hotels, or even restaurants to be included on the premises.

With simple gambling options, but no hotels or restaurants, most of the players who wish to make a real excursion of their trip to Cedar Rapids will end up staying in the aforementioned rivals’ casino resorts. The new Wild Rose site is likely to feature up to 700 slot machines, and anything from 15 to 20 traditional casino table games. That should be more than enough for the type of clientele they are looking to attract.

Potential problems

Even so, there could still be a few problems with the locals. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission are yet to sign off on the plans, and they would need convincing that the new project wouldn’t be detrimental to the gaming industry already established in the area. Fortunately, Wild Rose has been given a bit of time to prepare their arguments for the commission. A moratorium currently prohibits talks of any new gambling venture until 2017, but when that expires next year, talks can begin about the construction of the new US land-based casino.

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