CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa — Plans to build a $40 million casino in downtown Cedar Rapids have surfaced.
The project by West Des Moines-based Wild Rose Casinos & Resorts would cost less than a quarter of the estimate for the Cedar Crossing riverfront casino plan rejected by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission in April 2014.
Board members imposed an informal moratorium on new applications for casinos for three years after a Wild Rose casino in Jefferson was approved. The moratorium would expire next year.
Wild Rose President Tom Timmons told KCRG-TV that he envisions a $40 million “boutique” casino that would have parking on the first floor, the gambling area on the second and commercial office space on the third and fourth floors. He also says the project wouldn’t include any restaurants, hotels or other entertainment venues.
It would be built across the street from the Double Tree Hilton and Convention Center in the city’s downtown area. Officials hope the casino will attract new clients who could stay at the hotel and dine at existing establishments.
“We have a plan. Does the plan make sense? Cedar Rapids is the second largest city in Iowa I think someday Cedar Rapids will have a casino,” Timmons said.
Mayor Ron Corbett said the Cedar Crossing casino investors still have a development agreement with the city, but he also says a deal could be worked out with the old and new investors. Corbett told KGAN-TV that the failure of the Cedar Crossing casino was a big setback for the community, and he hopes this smaller proposal can succeed.
According to Corbett, there are no active plans to redevelop the old casino site on the west side of the riverfront.