Cedar Rapids casino supporters speak up - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Cedar Rapids casino supporters speak up

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  • Cedar Rapids casino opponents speak out

    Cedar Rapids casino opponents speak out

    Thursday, April 3 2014 6:49 PM EDT2014-04-03 22:49:53 GMT
    We're getting down to the wire and people are running out of chances to tell the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission how they feel about a Cedar Rapids casino. The supporters in the crowd at Thursday's public event were mostly from Cedar Rapids. Those from out of town are against the proposal.More >>
    We're getting down to the wire and people are running out of chances to tell the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission how they feel about a Cedar Rapids casino. The supporters in the crowd at Thursday's public event were mostly from Cedar Rapids. Those from out of town are against the proposal.More >>
CEDAR RAPIDS (KWWL) - During a public forum Thursday one thing was clear: people on both sides are of the Cedar Rapids casino proposal are passionate.

There's really a divide. Those who came from out of town are against the casino, those who live in Cedar Rapids overwhelmingly support the project.

Thursday, the big goal for Cedar Rapids casino investors was to show the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission that Cedar Rapids supports a casino.

"This wasn't Steve Gray woke up one morning and said, 'Hey, I want to build a casino in Cedar Rapids,'" said Steve Gray, Cedar Rapids Development Group Chairman.

City leaders have said Cedar Crossing could be the capstone of flood recovery. To show the commission this, Mayor Ron Corbett acted as a bus tour guide, showing commissioners flood damaged neighborhoods and the now empty lot of land where the casino would go. They even watched a video to see what it would look like.Then the welcome party full of supporters, who went inside to tell the commission the city has a right to have a casino.

"Buy what's right," said Don Karr, a former Cedar Rapids city councilman. "Buy what's fair. Do what's fair.

They talked about the devastation from the flood, how far the city has come, and how much still needs to be done.

"We need Cedar Crossing Casino," said Mike McGrath. "It in so many ways will give us another huge step forward in continuing that momentum and our rebuilding.

They were business owners, elected officials, and regular residents who want to see the investment in the city.

"The other Iowa casinos have greatly benefited from the gambling dollars spent by Cedar Rapids citizens for a long time," said Judy Morningstar. "Now it's time to re-coop our own dollars and put them back into our community."

There were more than 800 people in the crowd. Many were from the cities that already have casinos and they all spoke against the Cedar Rapids project.
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