Gazette: Cedar Rapids casino backers ‘thread the needle’ with options

By B.A. Morelli

CEDAR RAPIDS — A new push for a casino in Cedar Rapids is getting support locally from people saying it would be a good addition to downtown, but there’s also skepticism state regulators would allow it.

“Talking about it is a good idea, but the problem I see is the hurdle in Des Moines,” said John Opperman, 57, of Marion, who was with family members Sunday in Cedar Rapids. “I don’t see anyone on the commission or legislators saying they support it. The same thing is going to happen again. I think it is good to have a plan, but I hate to get everyone all worked up for nothing.”

Three proposals have been presented publicly in advance of the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission’s application deadline Monday for a Linn County gaming license: the $165 million Cedar Crossing on the River on the west side of the Cedar River; the $105 million Cedar Crossing Central replacing the Five Seasons Parking Ramp with a skydeck to the DoubleTree Hotel and U.S. Cellular Center; and the $42 million Wild Rose Cedar Rapids “boutique” casino next to the Skogman building and kitty-corner to the DoubleTree.

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