Progress continues with Isle of Capri casino construction

Monday, April 30, 2012

Crews continue to make progress at the Isle of Capri construction site as they work to open before Thanksgiving.

The tedious task of filling the basin that will hold the land-based casino's floating gaming floor is now underway, according to Isle spokeswoman Jill Alexander.

The basin will hold about 740,000 gallons of city water, she said. Crews also continue to enclose the steel skeleton of the building.

Alexander declined to discuss any further details of the construction process, saying she wants residents to be surprised when the new casino opens to the public.

For those who want to stay up to date on the construction progress, there are two construction cameras that can be viewed from the casino's website, IsleCapeGirardeau.com.

A three-minute video showing construction progress from groundbreaking through the topping out ceremony was recently posted by the casino on YouTube at http://youtu.be/7W8iiQHT8To.

Although most of the casino's hiring won't be done until later this year, a handful of positions are posted now on its website including some management and slot technician jobs.

Isle is expected to employ more than 450 people. The casino complex once completed will have 1,000 slot machines, 28 table games, several restaurants and a 750-seat entertainment complex.

* West Park Mall is now under new management. Madison Marquette Retail Services has been retained by Centro Properties Group to provide asset management leasing and property management services for seven regional mall properties across the United States, including West Park Mall in Cape Girardeau. The Centro portfolio has added 5.5 million square feet to Madison Marquette's portfolio, which now totals about 20 million square feet of retail, mixed-use, community and regional mall properties. The seven Centro assets are located in California, Colorado, Missouri, Ohio, Connecticut and North Carolina.

"These properties have a long-standing tradition within each community. They offer exciting and valued retail shopping along with well established community events and programs and this will continue with dedication and pride under Madison Marquette Retail Services," said Jason LeMone, vice president of Management Services for MMRS. "With our strong history of making distinctive retail destinations, we look forward to working closely with the retailers and surrounding community as we grow and improve together."

* Exede by ViaSat high-speed Internet service is now offered at Network Communications in Cape Girardeau, according to owner Mark Jackson. This service offers speeds up to 12 Mbps downstream and up to 3 Mbps upstream beginning at $50 per month. It is available to any residence or business that has a clear view of the southern sky. Although satellite Internet has been available for years, ViaSat has completely transformed satellite broadband technology and now delivers a broadband experience similar to wired broadband, Jackson said. In addition to residential service, ViaSat's satellite system is designed to simultaneously deliver a wide range of enterprise and mobile broadband services. Professional customers can choose from a family of terminals for enterprise, on-the-move and portable applications. For more information, visit www.networkcommunications.tv.

* Sloan & Themis Co. will open a boutique at 31C N. Main Street in Downtown Cape Girardeau on Friday. Starting as an online retailer, the company built a solid following and now has more than 1,000 fans on Facebook. The store will feature vintage jewelry and accessories, upcycled jewelry, high quality beads and craft supplies. "You no longer have to go to St. Louis, Nashville or Chicago to experience a hip and cozy craft boutique," said owner Claire Bruce. The store will feature classes, in-store demonstrations, design services and a beading bar where people can make their own crafts. The store will be open all day Friday through Sunday and offer evening programs during the week. A Grand Opening is planned for this weekend and will kick off at 5:30 p.m. with a lemonade social with cupcakes from Socials Cafe and Catering. For more information, visit Sloan & Themis Co. online on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

* El Puerto Mexican restaurant will soon open at 1815 E. Jackson Blvd. in the space adjacent to Beijing Chinese Restaurant. Tom Kelsey, commercial broker with Lorimont Place Ltd. who handled the real estate transaction confirmed that El Puerto had leased 3,900 square feet in the building owned by Chad Hartle and has been preparing for an opening in the very near future. The restaurant owner, Pedro Cruz, also has a restaurant operation of the same name in Blytheville, Ark. Kelsey said Cruz had been looking to open an additional location in the Cape/Jackson area and the present location fit well since it was previously used as a Mexican restaurant up until a year and half ago. El Puerto will feature traditional Mexican cuisine along with some unique south-of-the-border menu offerings not available until now in the area. The restaurant will also feature a Mexican style cantina bar separate from the dining room along with a full line of beers, wines and spirits. Victor Castillo has been named manager of the new restaurant.

* The Junction Antiques & Collectables has opened at the corner of highways 61 and 177 in Fruitland. The site was formerly Bloomers Nursery. The store features furniture, glassware, old advertising pieces and lots more, said owner Tony LaForest. LaForest has also organized an outdoor flea market at the site and has booth space available for potential vendors. The antiques store is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and from noon to 4 p.m. Sundays. The flea market goes on all day Fridays through Sundays.

* Wedding Rental Solutions will open May 7 in the former Superior Advertising building on Highway Z in Gordonville. Owners Suzie and Dwayne Matthews offer decorations and supplies for special occasions including tents, tables and chairs, linens, altarpieces, columns, and other display items. Suzie Matthews said she couldn't find what she wanted in the area when planning her own wedding, so she started the business to help other brides. She has been running it out of her home in Scopus, Mo., for the past two years. For more information visit WeddingRentalSolutions.com.

* SEMO Smokes has opened a second location at 2941 E. Jackson Blvd., Suite B, in Jackson. The store sells custom-made cigarettes. Customers choose a type of tobacco and the kind of tube they want to use, then materials are placed into a rolling machine at the store. It is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. SEMO Smokes opened its first store last year at 1412 N. Kingshighway in Cape Girardeau. The store is owned by Mark Metcalf.

Southeast Missourian business editor Melissa Miller may be contacted at 388-3646 or mmiller@semissourian.com.

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