Our Western Heritage

Our Western Heritage
Front Street, Dodge City, circa 1879

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Ford Co. Dodge City casino plans advance

[Note that the promised donations to Western tourism venues isn't part of either presentation. Both of these Kansas companies, with local supporters, have made oral statements of a percent or so of their revenues going to help SW Kansas Western heritage tourism. Time will tell.]

Two Ford Co. casino plans advance

Developers' proposals will now move on to second round of the competition,

By Chris Green, Hutchinson News, May 28, 2008

Two developers cleared an initial hurdle Tuesday in their battle for the right to build and manage a state-owned resort casino in Ford County.

The Kansas Lottery Commission voted to endorse contracts with both Olathe's Butler National Service Corp. and Wichita's Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co. to develop a Dodge City casino with a Wild West theme. ...

Wichita attorney Steve Joseph, who leads a bid by Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co., said his group's task is to now persuade the seven-member review board to the merits of its plans.

Joseph's venture includes former Wichita Mayor Bob Knight, state media magnate Larry Steckline and his wide, former Kansas Attorney General Carla Stovall Steckline among its investors.

It plans to spend $20 million to build a temporary casino by spring 2009. It would later develop a $92.3 million permanent gaming site, complete with hotel, restaurants, shops and three rodeo arenas near the northeast corner of Dodge City.

Joseph said his group has the biggest "concept" for southwest Kansas and hopes to make Dodge City an entertainment capital in the model of Branson, Mo.

"If Branson, Missouri, can do it, Dodge City can do it, too," Joseph said.

But Clark Stewart, president and chief executive officer of Butler National, said it's his firm's plans that would be in the best interest of the state and the southwest region.

The project's manager emphasized the company's support from local officials and how the project will help Dodge City's economy and its effort to retain its young people during a presentation to the commission last week.

Butler National, hired by Dodge City's Boot Hill Gaming Inc., plans to build a $92.9 million casino in two phases near U.S. 50 on the city's western edge.

Initially, the company would open a $22.3 million interim gaming site by September 2009. It plans to complete the project, along with a 124-room hotel, restaurants and a spa, by September 2011. ...


Butler National Service Corp.

(Boot Hill Casino and Resort)

State: 22 percent of annual casino revenues plus an additional percentage based on revenues above projections, up to 38 percent.

Ford County: 1.5 percent.

Dodge City: 1.5 percent.

Problem Gambling-Addictions Fund: 2 percent.

Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co.

(Dodge City Casino Resort)

State: 22 percent of annual casino revenues, plus 10 percent of net cash flow when revenues exceed $95 million.

Ford County: 1.5 percent.

Dodge City: 1.5 percent.

Problem Gambling-Addictions Fund: 2 percent.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Dodge City casino: some new plans & visitor numbers

The Hutchinson News, May 21, has two different views of the tourism impact of the two different casino proposals for Ford County/Dodge City -- neither set of figures seems to match any research done on the Dodge City location -- research that clearly states most gamblers would be coming from within 50-100 miles from Dodge City.

With gas heading for $4.00 a gallon and higher, seems unlikely that either set of figures will be accurate. And, of course, with casinos going up all over Kansas and Oklahoma, I wouldn't want to be planning much on any of these projections. Only the State of Kansas will win in this casino building orgy, and of course, those selling the land, and constructing the buildings.

Developers present plans for new casino, Hutchinson News:

"...Butler National, hired by Dodge City's Boot Hill Gaming Inc., plans to build a $92.9 million casino, called the Boot Hill Casino and Resort...

The developers said the project would employ 654 full-time workers and could, by 2013, draw up to 418,000 annual visitors traveling from more than two hours away...

...The competing project, the Dodge City Casino Resort, ...said the casino would likely draw 1 million people per year [nee', 1 million visits], 250,000 to 300,000 of whom would come from outside the state or from more than 100 miles away. It would employ at least 377 full-time workers...."

[Compare these numbers with the 2007 research quoted often in public by one of the applicants -- before $4.00 gas -- which states:]

"In order to maintain the quality of life of the area, the additional fiscal and economic costs incurred due to a casino would need to be covered by additional governmental revenues...

"Conversely, benefit-cost ratios of 0.75 shows public benefits are only 75 percent of public costs – costs exceed benefits...

"Since gambling has been legalized and made accessible in several states, the range of pathological gamblers has increased to 1.5 to 5 percent in those states..."

"Distance from Casino in miles and
Annual Spending per Person*

0-10 $ 527.64
10-25 $ 234.23
25-50 $ 114.76
50-75 $ 66.97
75-100 $ 32.22

100-125 $ 13.37
125-150 $ 14.36
150-175 $ 8.99
175-200 $ 3.29

*Estimates by Christiansen Capital Advisors, LLC in current dollar value (2007$)


Best, Uncle George