Davenport Meets With Potential Casino Developers - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport Meets With Potential Casino Developers


Moving forward, the city of Davenport has plans to buy the Rhythm City Casino from the Isle of Capri for $46 million and move it onto land.  

Now developers are in the game, touring the city and getting ready to make their pitch. 

"We expect the private developers to be creative," City Administrator Craig Malin says.

About nine interested developers showed up to see what Davenport has planned for a new casino. Some developers are from the area, but also others are from out of town, including developers from Chicago and Minnesota.  

"One of the reasons we're undertaking this process is to see if the private sector is creative as a city is," Malin says. 

But before choosing one of them to move Rhythm City onto land, the city wants to see a few things in their proposals first. 

"Casinos generally have multiple restaurants, casinos have hotels and amenities associated with them," Malin says. 

They want the casino to be between 30,000-38,000 square feet, and have at least one thousand slot machines and 20 table games. 

They're interested in proposals with at least three restaurants, like a buffet, cafe/deli, or upscale restaurant, and a hotel with at least 80 rooms.  

"Our casino does not have some of those amenities, hotel rooms associated with it, and thus our share has been in decline," Malin says.

They're hoping to turn that around with all this. Plus, they're looking for proposals that include multi-purpose spaces for banquets or special events, office space, a warehouse, and parking for at least 900 cars. 

Plus potential developers will have to go up against the city itself.  

"We will be creating, crafting conceptual level land-based proposals of our own, both downtown and on the interstate," Malin says. 

Developers we spoke to today did not want to go on camera, but say they're up to the challenge.  

They have one month left to get going and show Davenport what they have in store for Rhythm City. 

"We have every expectation that the private sector's vaunted creativity will come to the fore in this process," Malin says. 

Proposals for the new casino are due December 20th at noon. After that, a committee will pick a few standouts to interview in January. Once selected, the developer will have to be approved by city council, the RDA, and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission.

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