An integrated downtown casino in Davenport would provide economic advantages to businesses located nearby, according to a recently completed study.

The Downtown Davenport Partnership commissioned the study as part of its 10-year strategic plan and looked at three cities that had downtown casinos. The study was done by Ohio-based DiSalvo Development Partners and BKP Consulting. It was provided to the city Thursday afternoon.

Kyle Carter, director of the Downtown Davenport Partnership, highlighted what those casinos did that benefited nearby businesses.

-- Integrated, rather than isolated, the casino into the downtown.

-- Had outward-facing amenity entrances close to nearby food and drink establishments and hotels.

-- Had nearby parking with good walking access to the casino.

-- Partnered with existing businesses.

-- Provided vouchers for downtown restaurants and co-promoted entertainment.

Sales at bars and restaurants increased 5 percent to 20 percent, according to the study that looked at casinos in Cleveland, New Orleans and Detroit. The study also noted that seven other cities had downtown casinos under construction or under consideration.

“If it is going to go downtown, these principles apply, whether it is Detroit or Davenport,” Carter said.

The study showed that food and beverage sales in downtown Davenport lag behind Moline and Rock Island by more than $4 million annually. An integrated casino could help that, Carter said, although the size of the downtown might also affect those numbers.

Also, the study showed that with more downtown hotel rooms, the RiverCenter could bid on more and larger events to host.

Alderman Bill Boom, 3rd Ward, who represents the downtown area, was pleased to get the report before interviews Monday with land-based casino developers. He was critical of people who immediately dismiss the financial potential of a downtown casino.

“All we’ve seen is a steady screed of that it should be on the interstate, when they didn’t know anything,” Boom said.

All three proposals have some type of downtown component, with two of them specifically located downtown and a third with a combined interstate-downtown operation.

(18) comments


Baloney. This is old hype from back when the President casino wanted to open here. The hype wrong. While jobs were created In the service industry, the Casino actually took away business from restaurants, People ate and drank on the boat. Didnt shop, still dont.

Funny, but all these commissions, surveys, etc. are comprised of people with a vested interest in this project going through..committees never have a taxpayer majority of outsiders, always the City, RDA, paid mercenaries.


I have not lived in the Quad Cities for about 12 years and since I left working at that casino it has continually gone down hill. This was the intent of Isle when they bought the property. To pay $46 million dollars for the license is absolutely ludicrous considering you can purchase the plaza in Atlantic City for $28 million. Plus, there is no way that your downtown can sustain enough traffic for those two casinos to be that close together. It has already been proven to you by the way Rhythm City has been allowed to go into such disrepair. Moving it out to I-80/280 corridor would make more money for the city/county. Look at what Jumers is doing! Plus, if the tax payers of this county are having to foot the bill, why are they not allowed their input or vote? Stop being so reactive and look at this situation from 30,000 feet and 15 years down the road! Stop comparing the downtown study to other cities that are much larger and have substantially larger populations. You're constituents are not stupid so stop treating them as if they are!


B.S. there is a casino there change.

Riverside Pride

It's really quite simple. If you keep the casino downtown, you will be taking money from locals. If you build it near the highway you will be getting money from outside the area.


Yes downtown has improved, not because of the casino. Lofts, bars, restaurants, skatepark, renovated buildings is what improved it. I go to the boat. 85% of the people who go there are elderly playing slots. They are not going to explore downtown and spend their money at other places. The majority go eat their comped buffet meal, gamble, and leave. Get that ugly thing off the riverfront, build the casino on the interstate, and do it right, so it will compete with the others in the area, or dont build it at all.


you are correct, But we dont need a city purchase of a gambling boat. Period.


This is the same song sang about the Jumer's riverboat in downtown Rock Island, but if you ask any of the business owners in The District, they will tell you that not only did the boat not benefit their business - they saw no fall off when it left. Gamblers are primarily an OCD bunch who are there to gamble and nothing more. The casual visitors end up at the Casino after being other places. The casino is the last stop of the evening. It is not a catalyst to patronizing surrounding businesses afterwards.


How does downtown Moline survive without a Casino and a a lot less thru traffic? Oh that's right, a lot less through traffic and free parking!


Downtown Moline is surviving?


The current casino is NOT isolated by the train tracks and a state highway. It is joined with the central district via a beautiful enclosed skywalk. I just don't think moving a casino up one block is going to increase business as much as this study indicates.


I'm beginning to think Kurt's a Chamber hack. He never actually reports the whole story. Kyle Carter is employed by the Chamber. The same Chamber that is supposed to be neutral on this project. The same Chamber that it's CEO just wrote they had "questions" on the project. Remember that? The "Questions" that already had been publicly answered. A really poor attempt at misdirection. Kyle does nothing Tara Barney doesn't want him to do. He takes no public positions that are not dictated by Barney. The guys a mouth piece for the Chamber. The last Downtown director with independent thought is now interviewing business on future growth. He got spanked bad. Kurt should be pointing out the inherent conflict of interest Kyle brings to the table. How do the rest of the member cities feel about their Chamber dues being spent on one downtown's interest? The Chamber voted to move in October to make way for the purchase of their building by St Louis Restoration. All Kurt has to do is ask one of 50 board members for a quote. Most speak freely after 5 pm. This has been decided. It's done. The only problem were the 2 other developers who managed to option property. That really caught the insiders off track. The sewer tunnel expense for the highway location is the first in stories planted to push this back downtown. Kurt you're a pawn. Wake up!


And there it is!


Has downtown not improved since 1991?


Isn't this the same load of c rap they fed us back in 1991. How the casino was going to revitalize downtown, and all these new businesses will open. I guess if people were stupid enough to believe it the first time, tell it to them again and they'll be stupid enough to fall for it twice.


The article states "Integrated into the downtown". The current configuration can not be considered "integrated" into anything. I knew it would not take long for the boo birds to come out. Now I'm waiting for the posts that the study is biased on purpose. Wait for it. Wait for it.


Why would we assume that the City of Davenport would release a study that makes their grand vision a positive thing? What history do we have from the City of Davenport about their plans from the past about revitalizing the downtown by adding "attractions" that have only failed. How much money was spent on RME, Figge, 2 parking ramps and the famous bridge to nowhere that was supposed to link everything together? Years have gone by and businesses have not improved, the casino is the worst in the area, Figge is a flop, the parking ramps are empty and the bridge to nowhere is connecting who to what? Did nobody notice that the railroad was there long before the Casino was put there?

When will people such as yourself realize and understand that 1) Businesses and people do not want to go downtown for many reasons (parking rates, crime, attractions, floods, etc). 2) That the City of Davenport (or any city) should not be in the business of running a casino in the first place, especially with OUR tax dollars. Cities should do what they were setup and intended for, for services.


Is it just me or are these people failing to see the Casino that we already have downtown? These numbers they propose are false.


@budnight: The current casino is not "downtown". It is isolated on the riverfront, separated from the central business district by railroad tracks and a four-lane state highway. Hence the use of the word "integrated" in this study. The idea is to actively make a new casino PART of a greater central entertainment district that would include things like The Adler Theatre, RiverCenter, RME, etc. Of course there is a risk this could produce less pure revenue than an interstate location. But that should not immediately mean the possibility of using it to leverage what is already a steadily improving entertainment area into something even greater. It is short-sighted to naysay without exploring the possible positives.

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