UPDATE: Ho-Chunk Inc. gives casino presentation to Sioux City leaders
Ho-Chunk's plan would renovate the Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building in downtown Sioux City.
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (KTIV) -
Monday night, Ho-Chunk Incorporated was trying towowSioux City with a plan to turn the Warrior Hotel into the area's newest casino. Ho-Chunk is the economic development corporation owned by the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.
Company officials were at the Orpheum Theatre, and met with Sioux City non-profit Downtown Partners and other community members.
Ho-Chunk's plan would renovate the Warrior Hotel and Davidson Building next door, turning them into a $122 million, 291,000 square foot hotel and casino. Inside; 800 slots, 25 table games, a 93 unit hotel, three restaurants, and an 800 seat events venue.
Similar amenities can be found in Sioux City Entertainment's plan to turn the Battery Building into a Hard Rock Casino & Hotel. Officials with SCE hope to bank off the Hard Rock brand name. But, Ho-Chunk CEO Lance Morgan says…
"If it were Caesar's Palace I am not sure more people would come. I think we have the chance to do something special with an older, historical building and to make something that is Sioux City's calling card," said Morgan.
Morgan's heading the Warrior project. He says one of things that makes it different is its emphasis on Sioux City entrepreneurs. The first floor of the facility would have space for local businesses and restaurants. Renderings already show South Sioux City's Trattoria Fresco has a spot.
"It's going to create a tourist destination. It's going to be the place, you'll want to go down there," said Morgan.
Morgan says benefits wouldn't stop at the casino's doorstep. He says they have plans to start a marketing campaign for downtown calling it the Warrior Entertainment District. They would offer billboards, websites, and shuttle services to businesses from Pearl Street to 4th Street.
"We're going to really try to promote tourism to turn the whole downtown into a place people are going to want to visit," he said.
If your want to check out the Warrior's webpage click here.
The current owner of the Argosy, Penn National Gaming, is one of the two other two groups who have plans for a new casino.
Penn has two proposals, both "Hollywood style" facilities. One plan calls for a casino downtown, the other puts a similar facility near the Port Neal Interchange, a few miles south of Sioux City.
Penn will be presenting both concepts to the public next week. The event is next Tuesday in the Grand Ballroom at Bev's on the River. Hors d'oeuvres will be served at 5:30 p.m. with presentations starting at six.
Sioux City Entertainment, presented to Downtown Partners last week.
The final decision on which group gets the Woodbury County gambling license will come from the Iowa Racing Gaming Commission. They'll announce which proposal they like best in April.
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