Lyon County delivers on-site pitch for casino resort
NEAR LARCHWOOD, Iowa (KTIV) -- Wednesday was a critical day for casino supporters in Lyon County, Iowa. They're trying to land a gambling license for a more than 200-acre casino project near Larchwood.
Along with a casino, the $120 million complex would include a hotel, spa, golf course, restaurants and other amenities.
Officials from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission were on-site today, taking a look "in person" for the first time.
The members were greeted by a couple hundred enthusiastic casino supporters. From the moment Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission officials' feet touched Lyon County soil, the clock was ticking. Officials from the county and Kehl Management, had exactly 45 minutes to make their case.
Their pitch was built on numbers. They say 81% of the resort revenue would come from out of state, meaning it would have a minimal impact on existing Iowa casinos.
Another selling point -- what it could do economically for Lyon County. If approved, it's expected to bring 700 new jobs and generate millions of dollars in sales and property tax revenue.
Add it all up, and supporters like Lyon County's chances.
"I think we're number one. If you think about what this means for the state of Iowa and the revenue coming in from the state and how it affects other casinos in Iowa," says Kehl Management CEO Dan Kehl.
"It's going to be a stimulus program every year for the communities, for the schools. It'll be fantastic," says Rock Rapids resident Roger Oliver.
Lyon County is one of four casino proposals in the state. The others are Tama, Wapello, and Webster counties.
There is one more step before the racing and gaming commission makes its decision. On May 4, Lyon County officials will answer any last minute questions from the commission at a meeting in Johnston. Then, on May 13, the commission will deliver its final decision. Members could choose to accept every proposal, or reject them all.