UPDATE: New Casino proposal in Cedar Rapids - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

UPDATE: New Casino proposal in Cedar Rapids

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Update: One local city is again looking at the possibility of  a downtown casino.

This time, some new developers propose building a casino in Cedar Rapids located across from the convention center near the Skogman Commercial Realty building. 

A casino proposal failed to get approval in 2014. When the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission said it wouldn't consider new casinos for another 3 years.

After the failed proposal 2 years ago, a local developer and Iowa based casino corporation want their proposed upscale casino to be a part of the city-scape of Cedar Rapids.

But this casino wouldn't have a hotel, restaurants, or bars attached to it.

Instead of being a competitor for business with the downtown area, this casino aims to be a partnership with the other businesses in downtown.

"There is all those amenities here. I would rather this be something that brings a 1,000-2,000 people down to the existing downtown to use those things. Rather than take it out and put it by the airport; take them out there so they are just avoiding the downtown and they are not coming down here now," said Cedar Rapids developer Steve Emerson.

 "After the flood, it took awhile for this city to get back on its feet and we are in the upswing now of really being a strong city again," said Ryan Shields who lives and works in downtown. "I wouldn't want to see anything come in that would take away from that momentum. If the casino comes in and wants to be a friendly Cedar Rapids business and help the community, then I don't see why not. I would welcome it," said Shields.

 But with more than 5 casino resorts in Eastern Iowa, is there a market for an other?

 "There are a lot of people here that won't drive an hour to go gamble. But there is a lot of people that would come downtown and hang out and use it as another social outlet or another entertainment venue," said Emerson.

The proposal is in preliminary stages. The developers and Wild Rose Casinos & Resorts presenting their ideas to city leaders on Thursday.

The project is estimated to cost nearly $40 million.


A new casino may be in the future for Cedar Rapids.

The President of the Wild Rose Casinos is in Cedar Rapids today speaking with city leaders about the proposed casino.

This comes after a 2014 proposal for a Cedar Rapids casino was denied by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

The commission felt the market was too saturated and imposed a 3 year moratorium, which will expire next year.

The Wild Rose Casinos & Resorts owns casinos in Clinton, Emmetsburg, and Jefferson.

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