Archive for Thursday, April 9, 2009

Three applicants seek to run state casino in Wyandotte County

April 9, 2009

It has been a few months since the original plans for a casino in Wyandotte County fell apart, but all hope is not lost.

Three groups have submitted applications to manage a state-owned and -operated casino in Wyandotte County after the Kansas Lottery reopened the application process to developers interested in building in Wyandotte County.

The Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board selected Kansas Entertainment LLC last year to manage a Hard Rock casino overlooking Turn 2 at the Kansas Speedway in Kansas City, Kan., but Kansas Entertainment withdrew its application on Dec. 5, 2008.

The company has now re-submitted a plan that is less aggressive in this tough economic climate and breaks up the $700 million casino and hotel project into phases.

The first-phase of the new proposal calls for $390 million worth of development that would include a 100,000-square-foot gambling area, a bar and dining area, as well as other entertainment options. As with the group’s first proposal, Speedway officials will try to get a second NASCAR Sprint Cup race to the track.

The second application received was from Hollywood Casino Kansas, submitted by Penn Hollywood Kansas Inc. for Delvest Corporation, a subsidiary of Penn National Gaming Inc.

This proposal calls for a $500 million casino to be built near the future Schlitterbahn Water Park off Interstate 435 in Kansas City, Kan.

With a Hollywood theme, the 357,400-square-foot casino would include a 72,500-square-foot gaming floor with 2,000 slot machines and 58 table games, a 250-room hotel, meeting space and several food and beverage outlets.

The third and final application came from Golden Heartland Casino, submitted by Golden Heartland for Golden Gaming.

This company’s original proposal came close to winning out against the Hard Rock casino last year. The application proposes a $652 million casino/resort to be built in Edwardsville, at the 110th Street exit off of Interstate 70.

Like the Hard Rock proposal, Golden Heartland’s new proposal is similar to the original application, except that the project will now be built in phases. The proposal calls for 2,000 slot machines, 65 table games and several dining and entertainment options.

The Lottery has until June 30 to review the applications and negotiate a contract with the applicants. The Lottery will forward any contracts that are negotiated to the seven-member Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board for its consideration. The Review Board will then have 60 days to forward its choices to the Kansas Racing & Gaming Commission for approval.

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