Local casino investors and their site and construction consultants say the best place for a casino in Linn County is near Interstate 380 across the Cedar River from either downtown or just to the north across from the Quaker Oats plant.
At a Monday afternoon news conference at the offices of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, casino investor Steve Gray said either of the two west-side Cedar Rapids spots are sufficiently close to the city’s new convention center and newly renovated hotel and arena to help those venues prosper along with a new casino.
Cedar Rapids taxpayers have invested much in the convention complex and hotel projects, and the casino should help the hotel fill up rooms and it can provide some financial backing to bring entertainment to the arena, Gray said. “Then it becomes a win, win, win.” he said. “It becomes a win for us (casino investors), it’s great for the city and it’s great for taxpayers.”
Gray said, too, that a casino’s west-side location will be close to the city’s new riverfront amphitheater and to a new residential condominium project going up on First Street SW, an area which he said had the early makings of an entertainment and residential area like the Lower Downtown in Denver, Colo., he said.
Gray and his investor group, Cedar Rapids Development Group LLC, hired local firms Ryan Companies US Inc. and OPN Architects Inc. to help them pinpoint the preferred site from among 21 options.
Does knowing the preferred location for a new Linn County casino impact your vote on the issue March 5?