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Plans for $42 million Casino Project in Tama County, Iowa Moving Forward

Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier, IowaMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News

Nov. 12, 2009--DES MOINES -- Details have been released on Tama County's plans for a new casino, while officials said Franklin County's failure to beat the gaming license application deadline developed because of a conflict between developers.

Signature Management Group of Iowa and Tama County Community Enrichment are proposing a $42 million project along the new U.S. Highway 30 bypass between Tama and Toledo. The plan is from one of four groups hoping to get a state casino license. The plans were due to state officials Monday.

The proposed facility would include 500 slots with 18 table games, a 500-seat conference center and dining facilities that include a buffet, sit-down restaurant and sports bar. The establishment would also have a Holiday Inn Express, an RV park with an executive clubhouse, an outdoor amphitheater and a 90-acre ATV park that could be used for cross-country skiing and snowmobiling.

The facility is expected to generate $40 million in its first year with $13 million in revenues for the state.

In Franklin County, Karen Mitchell is director of the county's development association. In a prepared statement, Mitchell said the biggest issue in its application was demands put on developers Roger and Gayle Burnett of Rockford by their former partner, Century Casinos.

"It is very unfortunate that Century was unwilling to go along with the vision the Burnetts had for the casino," she said. "Their demands and expectations were, in my opinion, unreasonable and would have led to a poor project for Franklin County."

Gayle Burnett declined to comment and Century Casinos could not be reached for comment.


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