Cedar Crossing to host Bret Michaels concert at U.S. Cellular Center

CEDAR RAPIDS—Peninsula Pacific and Cedar Rapids Development Group (CRDG), the team behind the Cedar Crossing casino proposals, will host a concert featuring Poison frontman Bret Michaels on Friday Sept. 15 at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Tickets for the 8 p.m. concert start at just $20 via Ticketmaster or the U.S. Cellular Center box office. Local Cedar Rapids rock band Slap ‘n’ Tickle will open for Michaels. The concert is part of Michaels’ 2017 “The Party Starts Now” tour. Tickets will go on sale starting Saturday.

“We want to provide the Cedar Rapids community with a low-priced option for quality entertainment and to showcase a preview of the shows Cedar Crossing can bring to the city,” said Brent Stevens, the head of Peninsula Pacific. “Our proposal is much more than a casino. We want to anchor economic development in downtown and make Cedar Rapids an entertainment destination that a wide variety of acts will put on their tour schedules.”

Michaels rose to fame as the lead vocalist for Poison. The band’s hits include “Every Rose Has Its Thorn,” “Something to Believe In” and “Unskinny Bop.” Poison has sold more than 50 million records since its inception in 1986. Michaels has also achieved success as a solo performer.

The Peninsula Pacific-CRDG team is the only partnership with experience in urban gaming, including Iowa’s only two urban casinos—Dubuque and Sioux City. In Sioux City, which is a smaller market than Cedar Rapids, the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino hosted 455 acts over two-and-a-half years. The Hard Rock, which is co-owned by Peninsula Pacific, sold more than 125,000 tickets to people in every state. Last year, Cedar Rapids hosted 58 acts at the U.S. Cellular Center.

Cedar Crossing would provide an important boost to the economic engine of development in downtown Cedar Rapids. Although the competing proposal has a similar number of slots and tables, Cedar Crossing’s investment of $105 million is more than double the investment in Cedar Rapids.

“We’re investing heavily in Cedar Rapids because we fundamentally believe that gaming is more than just providing slot machines,” said Jonathan Swain, the co-founder of JNB Gaming, which is working with Peninsula Pacific as the operator. “Our properties are first-class facilities that provide a quality experience for consumers. That requires long-term investment and a deliberate focus on excellence.”