Wild Rose Moving Ahead With New Proposal For Cedar Rapids Casino
Wild Rose is pitching for a casino in the city of the Cedar Rapids, Iowa and recently announced that they have set up a non-profit board called the Cedar River Alliance for Gaming (CRAG) that will take on the responsibility of reviewing its casino license application and distributing a portion of its gaming revenue to charitable causes.
Wild Rose Entertainment is a local casino developer that already operates two casinos in the state.
The company has proposed to develop a $40 million boutique casino in downtown Cedar Rapids along with two local partners – Hunter Parks of Hunter Cosand local developers Steve Emerson of Aspect Architecture.
As a part of the proposal, the company recently named a seven-member panel for the non-profit board. In a statement, Dick Meisterling, of Cedar Rapids, a vice president at Thompson and Associates and the new board’s chairman said
The Cedar Rapids community will benefit enormously from a successful gaming project. I am thrilled to join this new board, reinvigorate enthusiasm for gaming in our community and contribute to Cedar Rapids in a positive way through charitable giving.
The non-profit board would be receiving 4 percent of the casino’s gross gaming revenue which is more than that state-decreed minimum of 3 percent. Meisterling said that the proposed casino would be smaller than the casino that had been proposed in 2014 by a previous group called the Cedar Rapids Development Group.
Tom Timmons, president and chief operating officer at Wild Rose said that the plan was to apply for a license in early 2017 after a feasibility study is completed. Officials from the casino operator said that the casino is likely to generate revenue of $42 million annually, of which a portion will be diverted to charity organizations.
Meisterling pointed out that in general Wild Rose casinos average about $1.5 million in monthly revenue per casino. With Cedar Woods being the second largest city in the state, he was expecting higher revenues.
The 2014 bid by the Cedar Rapids Development Group for a gaming license was rejected by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission saying that the casino was likely to cannibalize existing casinos’ revenue. The earlier project involved the development of a $174 million casino, with hotel, bars and restaurants as well as other amenities. The city reached an agreement with the group that no other casino would be allowed in the area. However the proposed Wild Rose casino is expected to be constructed on private land and hence would not require the approval of city officials. Ron Corbett Mayor of Cedar Rapids has said that the city intended to honour its agreement with the Cedar Rapids Development Group but added that the city wasn’t opposed to the new proposal.
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