Our Western Heritage

Our Western Heritage
Front Street, Dodge City, circa 1879

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

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