Our Western Heritage

Our Western Heritage
Front Street, Dodge City, circa 1879

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Dodge City Casino: Third applicant - Epic Gaming, Las Vegas

Update 07 January 2008: Kansas Lottery Commission voted unanimously to deny Ford County Commission's request for extension which would have enabled Epic Gaming's application to be accepted.

Casino developer asks county for extension, Dodge City Daily Globe, Dec. 29

"A developer who missed the deadline to file an application with the Kansas Gaming Commission to build a casino in Ford County is now requesting an extension. The Las Vegas-based company Epic Gaming asked the Ford County Board of Commission on Friday to petition the Gaming Commission for an extension, and the commissioners agreed.

"They had the application physically on the premises, but the Lottery Commission didn't feel like they could receive it because it was shortly after 5 o'clock," said Dave Snapp, a Dodge City attorney representing Epic Gaming. "Of course, we think it's in the best interest of the public that you look at all qualified proposals...."

Surprised that the Ford County Commission could have an unannounced meeting for this approval? Always thought that would take an emergency? Means none of the applicants can be turned down by Ford County/Dodge City Commissions, that's for sure.

And now, really, no Event Center can be built until location of the casino is known -- or we build the smaller version down south by race track. Glad that CFAB is thinking about a more affordable Events Center, something under $10 million or so. Then we won't need the sales tax anymore.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Second Dodge City casino application: Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co

Lottery receives second Dodge City casino application, Hutchinson News, Dec. 27, 2007

"Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co., based in Wichita, was the second applicant to beat Wednesday's deadline for submitting a Ford County gambling proposal to the Kansas Lottery. It will compete with Butler National Service Corp., of Olathe, for a contract to build and manage the casino for the Lottery.

"The new applicant's president is Steve Joseph, a Wichita attorney who also is representing prospective developers of a Sumner County casino. He said he had caught "green felt fever" and believes Dodge City can develop into a tourism destination like Branson, Mo.

"To me, the best place to do this is Dodge City," Joseph said during a telephone interview. "It's a brand name."

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Boot Hill Gaming Inc changing to Boot Hill Gaming Development LLC ?

Just noted a new corporation listed by State of Kansas, formed in August:

Current Mailing Address: 2408 6th Ave., DODGE CITY, KS 67801
Agent: Jeff Thorpe
Formed August 19, 2007
On-line at: http://www.accesskansas.org/srv-corporations/getRecord.do?number=6195473

or about the same week that CFAB Chair Greg Starks left Boot Hill Gaming Inc. -- wonder who is on the board of Boot Hill Gaming Development, LLC?

The State of Kansas doesn't show that on-line, just that Mr. Thorpe is resident agent for the limited liability company. This company's name hasn't been brought up in the meetings about the casino proposal, by the way. It, no doubt, will be.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co -- Where does Dodge City Events Center go now ?

[Given the very public position taken by Ford County Commission and Dodge City Commission members that the Events Center 'should' go by the Casino -- not agreed to by many others, but -- guess nothing can be built until the State of Kansas decide which Casino applicant gets their approval.]

Coalition to submit casino application
By Jon Ruhlen - The Hutchinson News, Dec. 19, 2007

DODGE CITY - The deadline for casino applications in Ford County is fast approaching, but at least one company has announced that it will throw its hat in the ring.

A coalition of Kansas businessmen known as the Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co., headed by Wichita attorney Steve Joseph, has its staffers working overtime through the holidays to prepare a 1,500-page document for submission to the Kansas Lottery Commission.

The deadline for applications is Dec. 26. So far, the only company that has submitted an application to build and operate the casino has been the Olathe-based Butler National Corp., which submitted an application in September.

Joseph said the Dodge City Resort proposal, much like the Butler proposal, will be centered around a Wild West theme. It will likely include a 100-room hotel and ample space for commercial and retail partnerships.

Joseph said the proposal will also be aimed at drawing Western-themed attractions to the region - especially rodeos.

"We don't see why Dodge City shouldn't be the rodeo capital of the world," Joseph said. "Talk about a ready-made brand. It's the West - Dodge City."

Joseph said the company has an option on 280 acres of land on the northeast corner of Dodge City. The property, owned by retired local banker John Harding, is bordered by 112 Road on the west and 113 Road on the east. It extends north from U.S. 50 for one-half mile."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

CFAB Meeting, Dec. 20, 5:30 p.m., Dodge City Hall Commission Room

Community Facilities Advisory Board Agenda, Thursday, Dec. 20, 2007 5:30 p.m.

City Hall Commission Chambers

[Note: No groups have been invited to submitted requests for the 15% of the CFAB tax allowed for Western tourism venues (per the Wichita Judge), but Boot Hill is on agenda -- when was an invitation to apply sent out ? Was one ? Why not ?

Also note the mini- events center -- ie., expo center -- being discussed without public meetings and without any action being taken on the Events Center per the Judge's orders]


Financial Report. Presented by Nannette Pogue, City Clerk

Dodge City Raceway Park: World of Outlaws contract. Presented by Ken Strobel, City Manager

Boot Hill Grant Request. Presented by Lance Nichols, Acting Chair


Legends Park Improvements. Presented by Paul Lewis, Director of Parks and Recreation

Expo Committee Update. Presented by Ed Elam, Ford County Administrator

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Update: meeting date not announced, Long Branch Gaming Co. casino application

UPDATE: "Dodge City Resort and Gaming Company, the arm of Wichita-based Long Branch Gaming looking to develop in Ford County, may not seek the city and county endorsement before they submit their proposal to the Kansas Gaming Commission." per Dodge City Daily Globe, Dec. 16.

Per the Dodge City Daily Globe, Dec. 8, 2007:
A representative from Long Branch Gaming Company said Thursday afternoon that his company has a proposal ready to present to the two commissions, in an effort to receive an endorsement.

Steve Joseph, Long Branch's representative, said members of the company had met with Ford County Chairman Kim Goodnight, Dodge City Mayor Kent Smoll and City Manager Ken Strobel over the past two weeks, laying out the company's intentions.

This is a Wichita, KS company; Steve Joseph is active in Wichita community events, and businesses.

Of interest, statements that seem to be concerned about this being a 'last minute' presentation -- given the few days notice, and no public comment, for the first applicant, Butler National Services Inc., based in Olathe, KS, and the approval of an unfinished and unread agreement between the city and Butler -- there should be no issue about the weeks involved in this presentation being brought to the Dodge City Commission and Ford County Commission. The first applicant got approved in record speed, for sure.

The state of Kansas will decide the final winner in the casino race. That should be the only issue, now with two legitimate applicants in the gate.

Again, per the Daily Globe:
City commissioners said they would have to handle the new proposal delicately. If the commissions refused the endorsement, it could look as though they were playing favoritism for a local developer. Conversely, if the commissions gave an automatic guarantee, they could be construed as not caring who builds in the area.

Remember that the Mayor and the County Commission Chair were both on the private Boot Hill Gaming Inc. board -- which did not apply. Although the Ford County Chair approved the related Butler National Service (ie.) Gaming Inc. applicant -- the Mayor was not at the meeting -- and both had resigned from the Boot Hill Gaming Inc. board -- it was actually a Dodge City Commission decision legally, due to land suddenly being in the city limits.

And, of course, the Butler National proposal plans on buying land, quickly annexed into Dodge City at the same meeting, from Joe Bogner, Boot Hill Gaming Board member.

(Note that neither applicant is 'local' although Butler used a local spokesman, Jeff Thorpe, at earlier meetings. His business relationship to Butler was not stated.)

[Related: Question: Was Dodge City Commission vote on Friday legal?]

Signed: Uncle George