Davenport And Casino Developer Meet For First Time - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Davenport And Casino Developer Meet For First Time

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The future of the Rhythm City Casino takes another step forward.

The developer and the city sat down together for the first time.

CEO Dan Kehl gave the same presentation to the council that he gave the Riverboat Development Authority, then took questions for each aldermen.

The big questions aldermen posed to Kehl, how many jobs, where on I-80, and what will the city need to contribute?

Kehl says once he opens his casino the number of employees will double.

Going from the current 350 at the boat, to 700 on land, and he plans to hire local contractors to build the facility.

He couldn't be as specific about the location for the casino because he does not have a signed contract for land yet.

He confirmed again though that I-80 between I-74 and Brady Street is the ideal spot.

He calls it the gateway to Davenport and Iowa, and he says a high class facility will be the only thing of its kind on I-80 between Des Moines and Chicago.

The mayor and a couple aldermen pressed Kehl on whether any city incentives were needed.

Kehl said he wants to build this himself and he doesn't believe the spot he has in mind will need a lot of added infrastructure.

"Looks like the utilities are pretty much in place, so we're not seeing a lot of city needs at this point, now if the city wants to grow the project into something much bigger, then the question is what can we do together," says Kehl.

Mayor Bill Gluba says, "The devil is always in the details, obviously there's a lot more things that need to be discussed and we look forward to discussing them in the weeks ahead."

Alderman Sheilia Burrage says, "We came together and we put our concerns together and he listened, and now he knows what he's dealing with, because this is a council to be reckoned with."

Kehl says getting the city to come up with a development agreement will be the last major hurdle he has to clear before buying the casino.

He has a purchase agreement ready to go with the Isle of Capri company, and he's ready to sign papers with the Riverboat Development Authority.

Kehl also laid out his construction timetable pending all the approvals and agreements.

He says construction would start in late 2014 and the casino would open in mid 2016.