Cedar Rapids investment group announces updated casino plan

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa—The Cedar Rapids Development Group (CRDG), along with Peninsula Pacific, announced today they have submitted an application to the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission for a casino in Cedar Rapids. The proposal includes two distinct options: Cedar Crossing on the River, located in the Kingston Square neighborhood; and Cedar Crossing Central, located next to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel downtown.

“A casino is important to the future economic development of Cedar Rapids,” said Steve Gray, chairman of CRDG. “This project is all about invigorating Cedar Rapids, and we believe it’s an opportunity to advance the city’s entertainment offerings and create a sustainable engine for economic growth.”

CRDG and Peninsula Pacific originally teamed-up in 2013 when a referendum was held regarding the viability of a local gaming facility. At that time, 61 percent of Linn County residents voted in favor of a casino in Cedar Rapids. Today, CRDG continues to have an exclusive relationship with the City of Cedar Rapids and Linn County to be the licensed operator of a local gaming site.

“Our two project options, both of which would involve $100 million-plus investments locally, offer the best opportunity for providing a premium gaming and entertainment venue to local residents and visitors,” said Brent Stevens, Peninsula Pacific’s chairman. “Responsible gamers in Linn County should not have to drive an hour to enjoy a casino. With our proposal, Eastern Iowans can spend their leisure time and money locally.”

The two options:

  • Cedar Crossing Central, which represents an investment in the community of more than $105 million, is expected to create 231 permanent jobs on-site and approximately 196 additional, indirect jobs in Iowa. It is also expected to generate 601 short-term jobs during the project’s construction phase. Besides contributions to local charitable groups, this project would also provide approximately $109.1 million in tax revenue to state and local governments over five years. This option features a smaller facility with 550 slots and 15 tables, but also provides a viable solution for a new parking garage downtown.
  • Cedar Crossing on the River, which represents an investment of more than $165 million in the community, is expected to create 355 permanent jobs on-site and approximately 295 additional, indirect jobs in Iowa. It is also expected to generate 1,283 short-term jobs during the project’s construction phase. Besides contributions to local charitable groups, this project would also provide approximately $142.7 million in tax revenue to state and local governments over five years. This option is the original, larger development with more amenities, including 840 slots and 22 tables.

“We are confident the project and economic conditions have changed significantly enough over the past three years to warrant a second look,” Gray said. “We think this project will make Cedar Rapids – Iowa’s second largest city – an even more attractive place to live and destination to visit.”

About Cedar Rapids Development Group and Peninsula Pacific
The Cedar Rapids Development Group (CRDG) is a coalition of local investors—nearly 100 community leaders – who have pledged several million dollars to develop a casino in Iowa’s second largest city.

Peninsula Pacific offers premium gaming venues that are good fits with the communities in which they operate. Founded in 1999 by Brent Stevens, the company uses its broad managerial experience and investment banking/capital markets expertise to pursue new development opportunities nationwide. This includes more than 20 years of experience operating casinos in Iowa and other states, starting in 1997 with the Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque and, more recently, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Sioux City. The Cedar Crossing project in Cedar Rapids would be the company’s fourth Iowa casino endeavor and their eighth nationwide. For more information on the Cedar Crossing Casino go to: www.cedarcrossingcasino.com.