GAMBLING

Davenport answers questions about casino project

2012-12-01T22:24:00Z 2012-12-02T20:25:18Z Davenport answers questions about casino projectKurt Allemeier The Quad-City Times
December 01, 2012 10:24 pm  • 

The city of Davenport received 17 questions regarding the development of a land-based casino, ranging from identifying city-owned property and access to the Rhythm City’s client database to the fate of the casino boat after the sale.

Ingenus Management and Consultants of Brainerd, Minn., was the lone company to query the city on its proposal to develop a land-based casino. Questions were due about a week ago, with the city responding last week.

The city is in the process of purchasing the Rhythm City casino boat for $46 million. Development proposals are due Dec. 20.

Ingenus has developed two casinos for the Osage Nation in Oklahoma and another racetrack and casino in Oklahoma City. The company, which consults with gaming companies nationwide, also owns and operates a card room in New Hampshire.

Ingenus CEO Ken Mimmack said the company is serious about creating some type of project in Davenport.

“We’ve been interested in Iowa for a number of years,” he said. “We’ve kept a distant eye on Davenport.”

Four of Ingenus’ questions revolved around city-owned property, asking site location and size, utilities availability and legal descriptions, whether any of the city properties have civil issues, how to notify the city of interest in a property and whether the city will contribute the property to the project.

The city provided a list of 18 parcels and a map showing their location and size. The seven largest parcels, from six to 32 acres, are located at the Eastern Iowa Industrial Center north of Interstate 80.

In the downtown area, 11 parcels range in size from a half-acre to 3.6 acres, with the largest being south of West River Drive, extending to the railroad tracks across from Modern Woodmen Park. The four largest downtown sites all are located just off the riverfront between the railroad tracks and River Drive.

The city and a developer would have to negotiate the transfer of property.

More specifically, Ingenus asked about usage of the Adler Theatre and RiverCenter as well as for traffic counts for the main routes — Harrison Street and River Drive — into the downtown. The RiverCenter hosted 330 events in 2011, and the Adler hosted 59 events that year.

East River Drive at 4th Street handles 29,000 vehicles a day, and Harrison Street at 4th Street handles 10,500 vehicles per day.

Other questions included what will become of the casino boat after the city’s purchase and whether it will have control of the database of players and player history, how much influence the city will have on what gaming equipment is used and how much involvement the city will have in the casino’s day-to-day operation.

The casino boat is likely to be put up for sale, according to the city response to the questions. The city also will receive a database of customers who have wagered at the Rhythm City in the previous year. The city response states that operation will be left to the nonprofit Davenport Community Improvement Corp. with daily operations by professional gaming staff.

The company also wanted available demographic information on casino players.

 

 

Copyright 2016 The Quad-City Times. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(2) Comments

  1. beman101
    Report Abuse
    beman101 - December 02, 2012 1:06 pm
    You will not get a voice in this they have already made up thier minds. since they will not have to worry about the debt they do not care. oh they are the mayor and certain city alderman. the ones who say they have our back?
  2. TruthOnlyBeTold
    Report Abuse
    TruthOnlyBeTold - December 02, 2012 11:14 am
    With only one company asking questions, casino operators are not exactly lining up to strike a deal to operate a casino for the City of Davenport. That does not bode well for success. Sounds like a 46 million dollar (plus interest) gamble of taxpayer dollars to me. Is that the role of government now? To risk millions of taxpayer dollars on a commercial development that can only draw one private company to show any interest? Will the taxpayers get to vote on this proposal to borrow 46 million dollars? As far as selling the current boat, I would like to point out that Catfish Bend Casino also has a former casino boat docked at Fort Madison that's been for sale since it was last used...(around 2008?)...so good luck with selling that boat.
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