Official: Horseshoe Casino

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Bluffs Run to add 100,000 sq feet, up to 1,900 more slots

Postby eomaha » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:20 pm

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Omaha World Herald wrote:Bluffs Run ups its ante, seeks $85 million expansion

COUNCIL BLUFFS - Bluffs Run Casino would become a Horseshoe Casino if it receives permission to proceed with an $85 million expansion and renovation.

The expansion would more than double the cost of a previously announced project.

The greyhound park would continue to operate as Bluffs Run Greyhound Park, Gaye Gullo, general manager of Harrah's, said Wednesday.

The addition would be 100,000 square feet, including two restaurants. A 20-table "world-class" poker room, where poker tournaments would be played, would be created in existing space, Gullo said.

Harrah's Entertainment Inc. bought Horseshoe Gaming Corp. in July, including rights to the World Series of Poker. Harrah's also runs Harrah's Casino in Council Bluffs.

Horseshoe operates casinos in Mississippi, Louisiana and Indiana.

The company is scheduled to seek approval for the project Thursday from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission, Iowa's gambling regulatory body.

In March, Bluffs Run received the commission's OK for a $38.6 million project that included adding 68,000 square feet and renovating other areas. But the project did not move ahead.

New plans filed with the state and the City of Council Bluffs indicate that part of the existing casino would be renovated and that a large casino area with new entrances and a 1,000-space parking garage would be added north of the existing building.

Documents indicated that the upgraded facility would have space for up to 1,900 slot machines and 36 table games, Gullo said.

Bluffs Run has the largest slot floor in Council Bluffs, with 1,640 machines.

The Council Bluffs Planning Commission is expected to consider the proposed changes to Bluffs Run's plan Dec. 14. The City Council also would have to approve the changes.

However, Harrah's officials said in March that they had been planning a renovation and expansion at Bluffs Run since the company took over the Council Bluffs casinos in 2001.

Bob Mundt, president of the Council Bluffs Area Chamber of Commerce, said Wednesday the proposed expansion is a "good indicator that they've got confidence in this market."

"That's part of our economic fabric, and any expansion is a good thing," he said.

The proposal comes on the heels of a number of changes in Iowa gambling rules and in the gambling industry.

Jack Ketterer, the Iowa gambling commission's executive director, said the earlier Bluffs Run expansion plan came before the Iowa Legislature voted in April to allow table games such as blackjack and poker at racetracks, making those facilities full-fledged casinos.

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Postby OmahaRules » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:34 pm

Nebraska "The Good Life"!

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Postby Will » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:41 pm

Maybe we should send the gambling with the good life team over to boycot this expansion, because we all know that most of the people that go to bluffs run ARE FROM NEBRASKA
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Postby eomaha » Wed Nov 17, 2004 9:51 pm

People are focused too much on gambling revenue. Consider all we've been receiving from the kind people of Iowa in the form of sales income, taxes, income taxes from employment, etc, etc.

Let it go.

Be happy for Council Bluffs. Be happy for the metro. Consider, aside from the Omahans... they're drawing a few cross country travellers off the interstate as well.

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Postby redfield » Thu Nov 18, 2004 11:55 am

I agree, it's time to let the gambling thing go. Not only did it not pass, it got destroyed by the voters. I think any future attempts to bring casino gambling to NE will be an exercise in futility.

That said, I still can't help myself and have to chime in. It's interesting that the casinos have harmed CB soooooooo badly that they want to expand them. CasiNO. NO TO CRIME!!!!!!! Take it from the folks that have had them for a while now, Casinos have destroyed the community and everything in it so badly that they want more. :roll:

I am happy to see this though. The doggies are a lot of fun, I'd hate to see bluffs run go the way of aksarben. Horseman's park doesn't count. Yelling at TVs to run faster just isn't as fun.

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Postby DMRyan » Thu Nov 18, 2004 12:56 pm

It's a done deal. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved the expansion, construction should start in February of what will be the largest casino in a 5-state area.
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Postby Sodak » Thu Nov 18, 2004 1:15 pm

I agree E. If we looked at the comparison of Iowa dollars spent in Omaha and the rest of the metro as opposed to Nebraska dollars spent in Council Bluffs at the casinos, I'm sure that Nebraska is still netting a positive return. Consider, for example that every title insurance policy issued in real estate and loan transactions in CounciL Bluffs and Western Iowa is issued out of Omaha because Iowa prohibits title insurance to be written in the state of Iowa. Not to mention amount of sales tax spent at our shopping centers and grocerty stores, etc. Oh, and don't forget the Zoo and our medical facilities. The list goes on and on.

Move on already.

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Official: Horseshoe Casino

Postby Coyote » Thu Nov 18, 2004 6:06 pm

Plan Will Make Bluffs Run Biggest In Iowa

New 'Horseshoe Casino' Would Open In 2006

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa -- Council Bluffs' Bluffs Run Casino could soon be the biggest in Iowa -- and some gambling proponents in Nebraska say it is a direct result of the recent election.

The casino will expand by about 69 percent from its current size. Harrah's Entertainment, the company that owns Bluffs Run, will turn it into a horseshoe-shaped casino and add 250 slot machines, a poker room, 36 additional gaming tables and 300 more employees. The name will change to Horseshoe Casino.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission reviewed the $85 million proposal Thursday and approved it. The new casino is scheduled to be completed by 2006.

On Election Day, Nebraska voters rejected two initiatives to expand gambling in the state. But Bluffs Run said there is demand for casinos in the Omaha metro area, and it will help fill that need.

"In fact, the market is growing by about 10 percent," said Heidi Hamers, with Bluffs Run. "We can fill that demand with our new product."

Hamers said the expansion plans were in the works long before Nebraska's election results were in. But the woman who led the fight to expand gambling in the Cornhusker state said there is a correlation.

"I was very disappointed, and I think the timing is not an accident," said Julie Plucker, who led the group Keep the Money in Nebraska. "Iowa has it figured out. The market is Omaha, the market is Nebraska. Seventy-five percent of the money comes from here. They're going to capitalize even further on that market."

Pat Loontjer fought expanded gambling. She said Bluffs Run's plans just confirm what her group, Gambling With the Good Life, said all along.

"Nevada gambling interests are insatiable. Once they take a state -- get the camel's nose under the tent -- they never stop," Loontjer said.

Nebraska's pro- and anti-gambling groups say the fight isn't over in the state to expand gambling.
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Postby almighty_tuna » Thu Nov 18, 2004 8:51 pm

Of COURSE the timing is not an accident!! What is this, business 101? Move on with your life and leave Iowa to itself. :roll:

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Postby projectman » Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:20 pm

The Horse shoe Casino. woohoo. I'll bet it'll be a happen place with a lot of happenin' people. Grandma.....Is that you?

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Postby DMRyan » Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:36 pm

Isn't Bluffs Run currently the most undesireable casino in CB?

The Horseshoe does have better name recognition and with the current popularity of poker and its ties to the Horseshoe Casino, this could really pay off for Bluffs Run. If regional poker tournaments are held, that likely means money will be spent on the Nebraska side of the river too.
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Postby eomaha » Thu Nov 18, 2004 10:36 pm

Actually the Horseshoe Casino name is pretty hot right now... being the host of the 'World Series of Poker' in Las Vegas. Poker is a popular spectator sport these days you know.

EDIT: Looks like we pressed enter at the same time... and yes, the 'dog track' casino is the least popular. I don't think most folks even think of it as a casino... rather a big room full of slot machines.

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Postby almighty_tuna » Fri Nov 19, 2004 9:16 am

Yeah, maybe the World Series of Poker will make a visit to the Omaha metro!

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Postby guy4omaha » Fri Nov 19, 2004 4:11 pm

redfield wrote:I agree, it's time to let the gambling thing go. Not only did it not pass, it got destroyed by the voters. I think any future attempts to bring casino gambling to NE will be an exercise in futility.


I was not strongly in favor or opposed to gambling but I did vote against the gambing measures and am happy the opposition prevailed.

However, I believe that over time the opposition will erode and we will eventually have casinos in Nebraska. Who knows, but that's my guess. Meanwhile I am happy for the Bluffs. Now if we could only get the Lormung Lo moat on our side of the river the riverfront would really take off.
My son got a 27 on his ACT. No this score is not as high as what Jeff's son achieved. But one has to remember the paternal gene-pool my son has to overcome. On a PGPAB [Paternal Gene-Pool Adjusted Basis], my son's score is a 37 and Jeff's son's PGPAB ACT score is 19.

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Postby eomaha » Sun Jan 09, 2005 11:33 am

Daily Nonpareil wrote:Expansion to go before City Council

State gaming officials approved it and so have city planners.

The proposed $85 million renovation and expansion of Bluffs Run Casino will now go before the Council Bluffs City Council for its vote Monday night.

The Iowa West Racing Association is requesting an amendment to the approved development plan for Bluffs Run Casino to allow them to make major changes to the site, to include enlarging the building, adding a parking garage and changing signage to reflect its new name - Horseshoe Casino.

On Nov. 18 of last year, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved the plan. IRGC approval was followed by approval by the city's Community Development Department and the Council Bluffs Planning Commission.

The council Monday night will vote on a resolution to amend the original development plan for the casino to allow the project to start.

Bluffs Run officials want to locate all gaming devices on the main floor, increase and enhance the food offerings and improve guest amenities and services.

They plan to add 133,364 square feet to the existing 93,021- square-foot first floor for a total of 226,385 square feet used for gaming, dining and guest services.

Existing space on the upper level will be used for administrative services and storage.

A new four level parking garage will connect on the northeast of the expanded facility. State gaming officials also approved additional slot machines to a potential maximum of 1,900, 36 table games and 20 poker tables.

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Postby sokkerdewd » Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:20 pm

Any chance there will ever be a hotel near the new "Horseshoe"?
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Postby j4nu » Wed Jan 12, 2005 3:25 pm

There is already one attached to the MAC.

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Postby Ingersoll1978 » Wed Jan 12, 2005 5:11 pm

Also, Bass Pro Shops has one in their renderings.

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Horseshoe/Bluffs Run Ground Breaking

Postby Brad » Thu Mar 17, 2005 1:41 pm

From the Omaha World Hearld
Published Thursday
March 17, 2005

Expansion raises stakes in Bluffs

BY ROBYNN TYSVER
COUNCIL BLUFFS - Upping the gambling ante, Bluffs Run broke ground on an $85 million expansion Thursday that will result in the city's biggest and first full-fledged, land-based casino.

The new casino will get a new name - Horseshoe Casino - a new buffet, new cafe, new steakhouse, new poker room, blackjack tables and more slot machines. The dog track will remain.

The project, expected to be completed next spring, is the latest play in a market that has seen many changes over the past two decades, including the addition of riverboats and a series of upgrades.

What's next? Probably more land-based casinos, say those in the business.

That's likely as the new casino puts competitive pressure on the riverboats, especially Ameristar, to stay abreast.

One possibility is river barges. Iowa law lets riverboats expand onto large barges beginning in summer 2007. A barge would be the equivalent of a land-based casino with a moat.

Land-based casinos are considered a step up from riverboats. They are more spacious, with higher ceilings and easier access.

Ed Fasulo, general manager of Ameristar, acknowledges that the new Horseshoe Casino will have an impact on the city's gambling market and, likely, Ameristar's long-term plans.

Ameristar recently began a $26 million expansion of its hotel rooms, buffet table and, eventually, the second and third floors of its riverboat.

"The land-based casino concept is definitely going to have an influence on what we do down the road," Fasulo said.

Ameristar is the current market leader in Council Bluffs and will be the new casino's main competitor. The other riverboat is owned by the same company that owns Bluffs Run, Harrah's Entertainment Inc.

Fasulo said change is an essential component of the industry.

"Las Vegas, in the last 30 years, has virtually remade itself three times. Each time, they remake and re-engineer themselves, they raise the bar and attract a whole new audience," Fasulo said.

Council Bluffs is no different.

Nineteen years ago, there was a simple dog track. On its first day, more than 6,000 tried to get into Bluffs Run before management shut the doors.

In 1995 and 1996, dog racing slipped down the gambling marquee as two riverboats dropped anchor, and slot machines began ringing at Bluffs Run.

At first, the riverboats cruised daily. Then they cruised a few hours of the day for several months a year. Then they stopped cruising entirely.

After that came the expansions and renovations.

All three Bluffs casinos periodically expand the floor space given to slot machines.

Bluffs Run had 1,120 machines in 1995 and has 1,649 today. Harrah's, which opened in 1996, began with 886 slots and now operates 1,220. Ameristar slots grew from 1,200 in 1996 to 1,565 today.

Last year, Iowa lawmakers passed a law that allows Bluffs Run to operate table games. It paved the way for the new, full-service casino.

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Postby Finn » Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:54 pm

From the Omaha World Herald:

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Last edited by Finn on Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Jon » Thu Mar 17, 2005 8:10 pm

Interesting...

The casinos are expanding and reporting record revenues. Yet Council Bluffs is saying they need to raise taxes or cut school programs.

Christie to board: Hike taxes or slash programs
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Postby icejammer » Thu Mar 17, 2005 9:51 pm

Jon wrote:Interesting...

The casinos are expanding and reporting record revenues. Yet Council Bluffs is saying they need to raise taxes or cut school programs.


Yes, very interesting. The casinos haven't been the tax relief vehicle that some thought they would be. The school's budget, however, has been seriously impacted by state budget decisions, not by casino revenues.

Of course, the city themselves are raising the tax levy this year too...and they DO reap revenue from the casinos directly.

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Postby DMRyan » Fri Mar 18, 2005 8:57 am

I can't even imagine how much higher the State of Iowa's taxes would be without the casino revenue coming in. Our state budget is increasingly reliant on gambling money, which makes me suspect that we may see up to 4 or 5 new casinos being announced in May when the Gaming Commission makes their decision on locations. That will fund any future economic development intiatives put in place this legislative session.

But no, they haven't done much to ease the tax burden locally.
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Postby Jon » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:27 am

Sounds like an economy to be very proud of... :roll:
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Postby icejammer » Fri Mar 18, 2005 9:45 am

DMRyan wrote:I can't even imagine how much higher the State of Iowa's taxes would be without the casino revenue coming in. Our state budget is increasingly reliant on gambling money, which makes me suspect that we may see up to 4 or 5 new casinos being announced in May when the Gaming Commission makes their decision on locations. That will fund any future economic development intiatives put in place this legislative session.

But no, they haven't done much to ease the tax burden locally.


Beings that gaming revenues account for a little over 4% of all state tax revenues, at a hair over $225 million, an increase in the state sales tax from 5% to 6% would more than offset current gaming revenues (not that it would ever happen, just hypothesizing). If the Gaming Commission approves any new casinos outside of the Waterloo and Cedar Rapids markets and maybe one near Mason City, I think it'll be counter-productive (not that north-central Iowans are any less deserving, but you can only put so many on the market before you saturate it).

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Postby DMRyan » Fri Mar 18, 2005 10:11 am

Sounds like an economy to be very proud of...


All the conservative Nebraska moral |expletive| aside, gambling has paid for a lot of great things in Iowa. I for one, am glad we have it in place. It provides jobs, gives a token amount back to the community and is a form of entertainment. If icejammer's stats are correct, that's $225 million a year into the coffers, with one heck of a spin-off impact.


Obviously no one knows how many new casinos we'll see, but there is talk of ringing the Meskwaki Indian Casino with casinos in Riverside, Waterloo and maybe 1 or 2 in Northern Iowa. Also, if the legislature passes the IowaValues Fund, they would probably love to see the $10 million in new licensing fees per casino come in immediately. The legislature has to be banking on having a certain rate of new casino revenue if we're going to fund long term economic development intiatives. Aside from Waterloo, north central Iowa is a lock for at least one new casino.
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Postby icejammer » Fri Mar 18, 2005 11:03 am

DMRyan wrote:
...with casinos in Riverside...


Riverside, Riverside, Riverside. Ahh yes, it took a second to recognize that. I wonder what James T. Kirk will think in 300 years of our "economic development" proposal?

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Postby Jon » Fri Mar 18, 2005 12:32 pm

DMRyan wrote:
It provides jobs, gives a token amount back to the community and is a form of entertainment.

Yes, it provides jobs, but at the expense of numerous businesses that have gone out of business due to casino gambling. IMO, the net increase is very small, if any. I owned a retail store in Omaha when the casinos opened. My store sold outdoor supplies, and relied on leisure time and leisure money. When the casinos opened, I can point to my books and show a definite 20% drop in sales. We eventually gained some of that back, but our net effect was a 15% drop in sales from that point forward.

I like your comment on the "token amount back to the community". That about sums it up. Throw them a bone, promise the moon and stars, and once they're there nobody will be able to ever remove them. The cat's out of the bag, and it aint EVER going back in.
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Postby icejammer » Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:36 pm

A little more info on the expansion project, compared to the OWH's expose on Iowa gaming....

Daily Nonpareil wrote:Harrah's Entertainment Inc. is hoping for a little luck.

As Harrah's executives and local dignitaries broke ground on the new $85 million Horseshoe Casino on Thursday, they buried several horseshoes.

"We are planting these lucky horseshoes in the ground under what will be the cornerstone of the new facility," said Gaye Gullo, senior vice president and general manager of Harrah's Council Bluffs and Horseshoe Council Bluffs. "The Horseshoe will literally be built on a foundation of luck."

The casino - which will feature 68,000-square-feet of gaming space, 36 live table games, including a 20-table poker room, and 1,900 slot and video poker machines - is slated to open during the first quarter of 2006.

When the new casino is finished, Horseshoe Council Bluffs will be the region's largest casino - both in terms of square footage and gaming positions.

It will also be the area's only land-based full-service casino, with all of the gaming devices and tables located on a single contiguous floor.

Ten years ago to the day, Bluffs Run Casino broke ground. While the Horseshoe will mark the end of Bluffs Run Casino, the existing race track will continue to operate under Bluffs Run Greyhound Park.

Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan reflected upon the original ground breaking for Bluffs Run, the opening of Bluffs Run Casino, and Thursday's ground breaking - something he calls the "Bluffs Run Trifecta." He asked the gathered audience to raise their hands if they attended the trifecta, and dozens did.

"All of those hands show the kind of commitment and consistency we have in this community," he said.

Hanafan said that the project will bring more than 300 construction jobs to Council Bluffs, and construction jobs drive the economy.

"We are already seeing the effects of these (construction) jobs," he said.

After the completion of the new casino, an additional 300 employees will be added.

Harrah's projects that the Horseshoe will generate more than $1.4 million in local gaming tax revenue and more than $50 million for the state of Iowa in the next five years.

Hanafan also pointed out that the Horseshoe will bring quality dining, not often seen in the metropolitan area, to the ever-growing entertainment corridor in Council Bluffs.

The new casino will offer three restaurants, including the 400-seat Village Square Buffet, which will offer food from around the globe - including Chinese, Italian and Tex-Mex.

Jack Binion's Steak House will be a 140-seat steak house featuring choice steaks, prime rib, veal and seafood, with a private dining area and an extensive wine list.

JB's Cafe will consist of an 80-seat cafe and offer 24-hour casual dining.

In addition to the restaurants, the "Rockin' Roadhouse" will be a 300-seat bar located off the casino floor. The venue will be expandable to 500 seats to accommodate a wide range of entertainment offerings.

The renovations will also include a 1,000-space parking garage immediately adjacent to the casino.

The legendary Jack Binion, founder of Horseshoe Casino, attended the ground breaking. Binion developed the Horseshoe Casino into a Las Vegas icon by offering high limits and generous odds.

His reputation grew in 1970 when the Horseshoe hosted the first-ever gambling tournament, The World Series of Poker.

"All my life I have tried to make casinos right for gamblers," Binion said. "I have seen the plans for the new Horseshoe, and it is going to be great."

Chuck Smith, president of Iowa West Racing Association, said that revenues generated by the three Council Bluffs casinos have allowed Iowa West to distribute $140 million to the surrounding areas.

"With the capital commitment that Harrah's is making, we will be allowed to take those contributions to a higher level," he said.

"Council Bluffs truly has an exceptional, winning business strategy," Gullo said. "I've been fortunate to work with a number of great collaborators - from members of the city council to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission to our architects, designers and employees."

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Postby projectman » Fri Mar 18, 2005 3:42 pm

Besides a few cosmetic changes I really don't see what the casinos have done for CB. Still not very many well paying jobs, the housing stock has improved a little bit and have yet to see any kind of substantial increase in population that these new businesses/ entertainment venues might have brought due to new jobs. It may be that many people will be commuting to Council Bluffs for those minimum wage jobs but don't want to live there.

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Postby DMRyan » Mon Mar 21, 2005 6:53 pm

Yes, it provides jobs, but at the expense of numerous businesses that have gone out of business due to casino gambling. IMO, the net increase is very small, if any. I owned a retail store in Omaha when the casinos opened. My store sold outdoor supplies, and relied on leisure time and leisure money. When the casinos opened, I can point to my books and show a definite 20% drop in sales. We eventually gained some of that back, but our net effect was a 15% drop in sales from that point forward.


I have to ask, in a relatively wealthy metro of 800,000 people, how can a casino take away 20% of the business in a small business selling outdoor supplies from across the river? Realistically, were there other factors possibly involved too?

Omaha isn't the size of Mayberry and not even close to every customer gambles to the point of having no disposible income for other things.


Besides a few cosmetic changes I really don't see what the casinos have done for CB. Still not very many well paying jobs, the housing stock has improved a little bit and have yet to see any kind of substantial increase in population that these new businesses/ entertainment venues might have brought due to new jobs. It may be that many people will be commuting to Council Bluffs for those minimum wage jobs but don't want to live there.


How are casino jobs really all that different in pay from West Omaha call center #141? Not every job in a casino pays $8.00 an hour.
And take a look at the list of IowaWest Foundation grant recipients. This goes way beyond cosmetic changes in Council Bluffs and points further.

http://www.iowawestfoundation.org/recipflyers.html
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Postby DMRyan » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:00 pm

And I won't comment on the livability of Council Bluffs, but here's something else gambling money has done for the State of Iowa:

Over 16,000 jobs added statewide in new or expanded businesses over the past two years as a result of economic programs funded by casinos.

"So far, the state's economic development department has made investments in 242 business projects, retaining or creating 16,000 jobs since July 2003."

Source: http://www.theiowachannel.com
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Postby OmahaDevelopmentMan » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:02 pm

Besides a few cosmetic changes I really don't see what the casinos have done for CB.


Not really, the casions have done much more for Council Bluffs. First off, it is completely reshaping its immage from 'Council Bluffs' to a respected and nice metro city of Omaha. Sure, some of the changes have been cosmetic, but can you blame them? I mean it wasn't the most attractive town a while back. Now that it has cleaned up its immage, I believe its the fastest growing city in Iowa (Ryan correct me if i'm wrong). It has done so much for the city of CB and will continue to do good for their city.

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Postby DTO Luv » Mon Mar 21, 2005 7:37 pm

CB is hardly growing (population). And part of the reason for "Council Bluffs" is partly the casinos fault. I don't want to start a big gambling thing but I'm sure that as much "good" as they've done they've done just as much harm. Be glad we don't have casinos because Iowa seems addicted to them for money and lots of the people helping Iowa aren't Iowans.
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Postby projectman » Mon Mar 21, 2005 8:43 pm

I'm still unimpressed with how Council Bluffs has evolved since the Casinos. Have the casinos made Council Bluffs a city where families want to move to? Have the Casinos benefited everyone in Council Bluffs? Have property taxes gone down? Have new schools been built or renovated? Do corporations get involved to raise money for public projects or is gambling the answer to it all.

West Omaha has a nice mix of jobs with all income levels, not primarily service positions. As I have driven through the main parts of Council Bluffs the housing stock leaves a lot to be desired. Anyone with money wants to build in the loess hills away from the trailers.

The gambling money may come and go and so goes the economy of Iowa.

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Postby DMRyan » Mon Mar 21, 2005 9:11 pm

Ask yourself those same questions about North Omaha, Ogallala or any of the other places in Nebraska where an economy is virtually non-existent anymore. I'm not saying that casinos are the end all be all to economic development, but I don't see how you can deny that they're not a boost to an economy, any possible moral ills aside.

West Omaha has a nice mix of jobs with all income levels, not primarily service positions. As I have driven through the main parts of Council Bluffs the housing stock leaves a lot to be desired. Anyone with money wants to build in the loess hills away from the trailers.


None of this has to do with comparing Council Bluffs to West Omaha, they're two different animals. I'm saying that jobs at a white collar call center really aren't any more high paying than the majority of casino jobs. If the Bellagio were to build in Omaha, do you think everyone and every house in Omaha would be touched? No. There are deep problems in places like Council Bluffs that were rough and poor before the casinos got there and their condition has nothing to do with gambling. With or without gambling dollars, good economies would still be going on in areas of Des Moines, Iowa City and North Cedar Rapids. I just look at how much more money is being pumped into Iowa's economy as a result of casinos. Money that has built new attractions, funded community services and is now creating jobs...well paying jobs that have nothing to do with gambling.
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Postby Jon » Mon Mar 21, 2005 10:31 pm

DMRyan wrote:I have to ask, in a relatively wealthy metro of 800,000 people, how can a casino take away 20% of the business in a small business selling outdoor supplies from across the river? Realistically, were there other factors possibly involved too?

Omaha isn't the size of Mayberry and not even close to every customer gambles to the point of having no disposible income for other things.

2 significant events can be seen very clearly in an examination of our books back then. The casino opening, and Walmart opening. We ended up recovering more of the business we lost to Walmart than to the casinos. We changed product mix, and got to know the people in their sporting goods department. We eventually got a lot of referrals from WalMart. But on the casinos, everyday customers stopped coming. We'd see them once every month or two instead of every day. When they did come in, there was a Harvey's Preferred card right in the front of their billfold. Our clientele was mainly lower income, working class, and retired.
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Ingersoll1978
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Postby Ingersoll1978 » Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:39 am

Council Bluffs is far from being the fastest growing city in Iowa. The fastest growing cities (by actual numbers) are in the Des Moines area. There are a few in the IC/Cedar Rapids area as well.

I'm from the Council Bluffs area and how it has changed in the past 10 years is considerable. The citizens actually have changed their own opinions and have PRIDE. Council Bluffs looks much better and economically is much better off than before the casinos. Council Bluffs isn't full of trailer parks either. I'm sure there are more trailers in the City of Omaha than the City of Council Bluffs. Some of you need to get off your high horse.

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Postby omahastylee459 » Tue Mar 22, 2005 1:57 am

omaha is also 20 times larger

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Brad
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Postby Brad » Tue Mar 22, 2005 8:51 am

I believe CB has a much better image than it did 10 years ago. CB stareted to build attractions with the money from the Iowa West Foundation(casinos) like the Mid America Center and Bass Pro Shops. In return these places are starting to attract development like the shops by the mid america center and the new indoor waterpark/hotel


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