Where should a new Davenport casino be built? - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Where should a new Davenport casino be built?


Davenport city leaders have announced plans to buy Rhythm City Casino. The question is where to build a land based casino. Talks have centered around downtown or along the interstate. TV6 decided to ask, "Where you would like a land based casino to be built?"

"Probably downtown," says Joni Davis.

"Keep it on the river," adds Frank Baker.

"I wouldn't mind seeing it downtown," says Vicki Carradus.

City leaders say they will drop the Rhythm City name and rebrand the casino. However, when it comes to a location downtown or along the interstate all bets are off.

"I think the Davenport downtown area could use more business and more money coming in," adds Davis.

"With the River Center down there it would bring stuff in and having that casino down there would really help all the little shops," says Baker.

There are pros and cons to building in both locations. We'll start with downtown where a land based casino will help the city continue to sell itself as a destination.

"You already have the night spots, the restaurants, the parking facilities, the festivals, everything is there and it simply becomes one more attraction in the downtown area," says Joe Taylor, President and CEO of the Quad Cities Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Building downtown will also be $5-million cheaper, but there is a downside to downtown.

"The only one might be constraints on the size of the project or being able to build something new," adds Taylor.

Building along Interstate 80 would mean plenty of space and a brand new building.

"At the interstate location it would certainly have its advantages too," says Taylor, "Certainly attracting visitors on the world's busiest highways, I-80 would be one of the benefits."

What could drive developers away from the interstate is higher building costs and the wide open area.

"Once it is there it could be more remote from other attractions," says Taylor.

No matter where a new casino is built, having a new place to place bets could give Davenport the winning hand.

"There will be a time period where every gamer will want to come and try out the new casino," says Taylor, "It will have a boost for tourism immediately."

The city does not have specific spots downtown or by the interstate picked out yet. There is still a long process before the city can take over ownership of the casino. City Council will discuss the sale Wednesday evening and then vote on October 24th. The Riverboat Development Authority and Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission also have to give the okay. The earliest a deal could be finalized is the middle of next year.

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