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The Gillmann Group Proposing to Develop and Manage
for the Delaware Tribe a $225 million Destination
Resort and Casino Adjacent to the
Kansas Speedway
BONNER SPRINGS, Kan., March 22, 2004 - A world-class destination hotel and casino in Bonner Springs, adjacent to the Kansas Speedway, could generate more than $300 million in annual revenue and more than $11 million in tax revenue each year for local government Fred Gillmann, Chief Executive Officer of The Gillmann Group, told the Bonner Springs City Council here tonight.  The hotel/casino also would contribute more than $28 million of gaming revenue to the State of Kansas.  A feasibility study prepared by KlasRobinson Q.E.D., one of the country's foremost specialists in comprehensive market research for hospitality and casino projects, indicated substantial opportunity exists and generated the revenue projections for such a first-class development project.

The Gillmann Group, which last week finalized the purchase of a 78.4-acre land parcel along Speedway Blvd. in Bonner Springs, south of State Avenue, is proposing to develop and manage a $225 million destination resort hotel and casino for the Delaware Tribe, who were early founders of the city.

"Our project is fully financed and with the land purchase in place, the Delaware Tribe is filing a trust application with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and intends to open compact negotiations with Governor Kathleen Sebelius' office," Gillmann said.

Gillmann told the Council his company and the Delaware Tribe will build a world-class destination resort comparable to Las Vegas hotel/casinos.  In the first phase, the property would include a 15-story hotel tower with 250 upscale rooms and suites, a 148,500 square-foot casino with 3,000 slot machines, 90 table games and a 750-seat bingo parlor.  The resort will include an upscale steakhouse, a 24-hour restaurant, a buffet, a food court with five venues, sports bar/deli/barbeque combined with a cabaret, and three free-standing bar areas.  The convention facility will provide 70,000 square feet to include a 2,700-seat showroom along with meeting and board rooms.  Parking facilities will include 1,000 covered parking spaces and 2,400 open parking spaces, together with 10 acres of oversized vehicle parking.  The resort will also offer a health club, pool and other amenities.  The master plan includes three phases, and Gillmann estimates construction for phase one will take 18 to 24 months to complete after the land is put into trust.

Gillmann said his company and the Delaware Tribe will work with the community to design the property.  Gillmann also said that economic impact studies show the hotel/casino will provide approximately 2,000 new jobs with a payroll projected to be over $60 million annually for the region and, in addition to the tax revenue, will generate over $100 million in direct operating costs being expended in the surrounding communities.

In an earlier statement, John Hunt, attorney for the Delaware Tribe said, "The Delaware Tribe looks forward to coming back to our last reservation land and becoming part of the community.  Community excitement for this project will be such a dizzying experience that we can hardly wait to get started.  This is a genuine shot in the arm for Bonner Springs and Wyandotte County in terms of full-time employment, tax dollars, and revenue growth.  It's like dropping a General Motors or General Electric plant into this community in terms of job creation."

Unified Government officials are aware of the project and are cooperating with the city and the Delaware Tribe.  "We look forward to working with the Unified Government to make this project a reality," said Bonner Springs Mayor Clausie Smith.

"I also want to thank Chief Joe Brooks and the Delaware Tribe for selecting our community as the site of its destination resort hotel and casino.  It certainly is fitting that Bonner Springs could become the home of this project because the Delaware Tribe were some of the early settlers of our community.  Henry Tiblow, the founder of Bonner Springs, was a Delaware Indian and we feel honored to welcome the tribe home," the Mayor said.  Tiblow was educated at the Shawnee Mission and served as a translator for the Delaware and Wyandotte in the 1840's.

The Delaware Tribe, originally named the Lenni Lenape, is headquartered in Bartlesville, Okla.  It includes more than 10,000 members who reside in Oklahoma and Kansas as well as California and Texas; at its peak, the tribe had nearly 20,000 members.  The Delaware were among the first tribes to come in contact with Europeans in the 17th Century and to sign a treaty with the United States in 1778.  Originally located along the Delaware River, the tribe was relocated westward beginning in 1829 and was pushed through Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas and finally to Oklahoma (Indian Country) in 1867.  Promised a distinct reservation of its own in Indian Territory, the Delaware Tribe moved onto land purchased from the Cherokee Nation.  Following their removal, the Delaware Tribe continued to operate their own tribal government and social and religious functions.  Despite their agreements, there arose some controversy with the Cherokee Nation, which has continued to be litigated from time to time and which has, unfortunately, left the Delaware Tribe a landless tribe.  However, the designation as a landless tribe contributes greatly to the ability of the Delaware Tribe to return to that area which was their last former reservation and seek property to be placed into trust for the purpose of gaming. In 1996, the Delaware regained their federal recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a status confirmed by a recent federal district court decision.  Currently, the tribe is nearing completion of a child-care center in Caney, Kansas and it operates child-care facilities in Nowata and Chelsea, both in Oklahoma.

The Gillmann Group, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., specializes in the development, financing, construction, and management of tribal gaming enterprises.  Founded in 1989, the company's growth coincided with the expansion of Indian gaming in the 1990's.  The company's recent development projects include the Laguna Development Corporation's Dancing Eagle Casino and Route 66 Casino, a 168,000 square foot facility, both west of Albuquerque, N.M.  Past projects include the early phases of The Barona Casino in San Diego, Calif. The Pauite Palace, the Bishop Pauite Tribe in Bishop, Calif., Susanville Indian Rancheria in Susanville, Calif.; and the Robinson Rancheria Casino and the Table Mountain Casino, both in Northern California.


The Gillmann Group

Also See: The Overland Park, Kansas Convention Center and the 412-room Sheraton Hotel Hotel Opened at the Right Space, Right Time / July 2003
Lodging Industry in Kansas City Reports Worst Occupancy in a Decade / Feb 2002

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