UPDATED 10:31 AM - The name of the casino originally used in this blog has been changed at the request of the actual casino. Perhaps, they don't realize this is satire. Or perhaps they do, but are afraid that doofuses throughout the state might read this and think it is actually true and potentially impact their chances of opening a casino in downtown Cape Girardeau. In either case, it is now changed.
UPDATED 11:25 AM -- The casino apparently did not care for my alternative casino name -- Aisle of Crappie -- so I have changed it one more time. It also occurred to me that there may also be an "E.J. Stark" -- the reputed president of Stark Excavating -- living in the area, so I've also changed his name to Howie Mandel so there is no one accidentally confusing him for someone else.
Stark Excavating has optioned the proposed casino property on North Main Street in downtown Cape Girardeau and plans to create a quarry.
The deal is contingent on either the Aisle of Carpe Diem proposal not being chosen by the Missouri gaming commission or Cape Girardeau voters rejecting local casino gambling in November.
The president of Stark Excavating, Howie Mandel, says the site's proximity to the river and a railroad line makes it ideal for shipping gravel.
"You can't ask for much better infrastructure for a quarry," Mandel said.
Mandel says his company is happy to purchase the property if the casino initiative fails. He pointed out that the quarry would more than double the yearly property taxes on the land to about $25,000.
Current annual property taxes for the site are about $10,000, but if Aisle of Carpe Diem is allowed to build a casino the development will generate approximately $3 million.
Mandel also said the quarry plans to employ up to two-dozen people, some even full-time. Mandel says the quarry will run 24/7 to capitalize on extensive gravel shortages in Louisiana and Mississippi.
"Those states will take as much gravel as we can send them," he said.
Mandel praised the quality of the gravel that can be manufactured in this area.
"This isn't the cheap overseas gravel that China likes to dump on the U.S., all laced with lead and melamine," he said, "but American-made gravel crushed from 100% American limestone."
Mandel believes that the quarry will be good for downtown local businesses.
"For instance, all this ruckus over the Bel Air Grill and their loud music in the evening will be a moot point," Mandel said. "We guarantee that our rock crusher will be a lot louder than any sound system."
In an effort to be sensitive to local residents, the proposed quarry plans to only use dynamite at the site every third hour and not between 2 and 6 am.