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Casino opening date set for Oct. 30

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Isle Cape Girardeau casino, seen here as construction nears completion on Oct. 15, 2012. Isle of Capri executives announced plans Monday to open the casino Oct. 30.
(Laura Simon) [Order this photo]
Isle of Capri will open its new $135 million casino in Cape Girardeau at 10:30 a.m. Oct. 30, pending regulatory approval.

The Missouri Gaming Commission will be in Cape Girardeau on Oct. 24, to tour the facility and hear a presentation by Isle executives required before the commission will grant the company its gaming license.

The Isle Casino Cape Girardeau will feature 1,000 slot machines, 28 table games, five restaurants serving a variety of cuisine and a 750-seat multipurpose events room.

Isle Casino Cape Girardeau is the 16th casino owned and operated by Isle of Capri Casinos, Inc. across the United States.

More than 450 new jobs were created at the casino, which has been under construction since April 2011.

"This will be an exciting moment for our company and for the Cape Girardeau community," said Virginia McDowell, Isle's president and chief executive officer, in a news release. "We are proud of the talented team we have put in place and thank the construction workers and tradespeople for their hard work and dedication. We greatly appreciate the level of enthusiasm shown by everyone at the City, the Chamber of Commerce, Old Town Cape and the CVB. We truly look forward to becoming a member of the vibrant Cape business community."

Cape Girardeau Mayor Harry Rediger said it's been a long process, more than two years, for the city's casino concept to come to fruition.

"The opening date is in sight and we're most anxious to get it open and reap some of the benefits," Rediger said.

Those benefits include an estimated $3 to $4 million in city income annually from the casino, he said.

"We can now fund some projects we've had on the books for a while," he said. Projects have been divided into four basic categories, economic development, safety/emergency, improved visibility and quality of life and history.

It won't take long after the casino opens for citizens to start seeing the improvements, Rediger said.

"We have approved an overall plan and the staff is looking at immediate projects that can move forward in the first six to 10 months with the first moneys that are received," Rediger said.

The casino's long-awaited opening will also bring new visitors to downtown Cape Girardeau, officials hope, something that Old Town Cape Executive Director Marla Mills said is great opportunity for area businesses.

"It no doubt will increase the opportunity for them to have a larger number of people driving past their doors," she said. "It's up to the businesses to take advantage of that and draw them in."

In the end, the businesses themselves -- their quality and their service -- that will bring people in their doors and keep them coming back, Mills said.

Isle has already been a good community partner, Mills said, by providing resources to help enhance the business environment downtown. That includes advancing money for a new wayfinding system to help direct people to and around downtown.

Under the city's development agreement with Isle of Capri, the casino will pay monthly three-tenths of one percent of its gross gaming revenue to the city to be put in a Riverfront Region Economic Development Fund. This fund is specifically to finance improvements that will benefit the downtown commercial and riverfront areas of the city. Seventy percent of these funds must go to capital improvements, according to the development agreement.

Just how the casino's opening will affect downtown has all been speculation until now, Mills said.

"It's exciting because now all that mystery will become reality and we'll find out really what it does mean," she said. "But there is no doubt that particularly initially, it's going to bring a lot of people to town."



Pertinent address:

777 N. Main Street, Cape Girardeau, MO

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dont really care.

-- Posted by bagman75 on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 2:54 PM

But a lot of people do bagman75, especially those who will be going to work!!!

-- Posted by ugguggugg on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 2:58 PM

And I am sure the ones who will be losing the money to pay the ones who are going to work will care!!!!

-- Posted by liketohunt9 on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 3:07 PM

For MOST people it's not losing money, it's paying x amount for their recreation. liketohunt9 I assume that you like to hunt. How do you spend on hunting, especially if you go on a trip out west or to Alaska? Everybody has their vises. The trick is to do it responsibly.

-- Posted by dhinkle57 on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 3:36 PM

The casino is going to open, the sky is falling the sky is falling oh my god the sky is falling, what a bunch of -tive dips.

-- Posted by ssinteriors on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 6:12 PM

I'm very excited that so many people got great jobs. Very exciting!

-- Posted by Bahama on Mon, Oct 15, 2012, at 6:18 PM

How many people got jobs? How many were from SE MO before the Casino came? Many of the construction jobs were filled by people from St. Louis. I know of one person who had an interview but I dont know anyone who has been offered a job there. I'm sure there is I just dont know any.

-- Posted by TheOneDude on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 2:37 AM

Good question. How many of the promised 450 jobs were filled locally? What is the average pay?

-- Posted by survivalist on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 2:52 AM

Owner of a Casino was once quoted as saying; "The only was to make money in a Casino is to own it."

-- Posted by Yankee Station on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 6:29 AM

There are several million folks out of work in this Country! What difference does it make who gets the jobs? Working people help improve our economy locally and Nationally. These people who will work at this casino will live here pay taxes here and own or rent homes here. They will purchase their goods here and patronize our local businesses. What team are those of you who are negative on this casino on? If casinos are not your cup of tea do not attend. As for local workers helping build this casino, there were MANY! Much of the material used was purchased here as well. Educate yourselves before you make ridiculous and false statements concerning the building of this business.

-- Posted by GREYWOLF on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 6:59 AM

DITTO GREYWOLF!!! I usually do not agree with most of the comments made on here but you knocked it out of the park on this one.. and it shows that you did some homework before you wrote it. I knew several LOCAL people who helped build it...and also know several LOCAL folks who have the jobs it created when it opens. There will always be people who like to gamble..if you are not one of them...stay away from the casino and let the ones who do have their fun. The community WILL benefit from it and that is what counts.

-- Posted by jake222 on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 7:35 AM

Sub Contractors from the local area were on this job many of them.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 7:40 AM

And what happens when the casino go's broke?

-- Posted by 314djhh on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 8:26 AM

314djhh, it's "goes", not "go's"

-- Posted by glock_556 on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 8:43 AM

What about other additions to the downtown area? I heard that there were plans for a public aquarium. I wonder if this is still a possibility? Look at the positive impact an aquarium has made to the downtown area in Chattanooga with the TN Aquarium.

-- Posted by cardsfan61 on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 10:32 AM

boooo casino=gambling problems

not a fan of casinos but that's just me

-- Posted by lovemyfamily on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 10:37 AM

I think this is going to have such a positive effect on the our local economy. More jobs, whether it was given to local people or not, they will become locals now. Downtown is already starting to get cleaned up and look nice for once! Maybe the small businesses down there will beable to make ends-meat now. People will start to come to Cape Girardeau from all kinds of places. I know people from St. Louis that can't wait for it to open so they can come check it out and get to know Cape. Something like this puts our town on the map, which means more money eventually all around.

-- Posted by Sem0gal on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 11:21 AM

I personally know three people who are local and are employed at the casino.

-- Posted by Day-Glo-Dago on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 12:13 PM

I have 5 local friends that got good jobs at the casino. They were able to leave part time jobs for ones with better salaries and benefits they need. I also know of several local contractors that have worked on the casino, so it's not all from out of the area.

-- Posted by newaroundhere on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 12:50 PM

will Doug Austin and Melvin Gately be there on opening day???

-- Posted by capewebmaster on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 1:29 PM

A University of California-San Diego sociologist found that "visitors to and residents of gaming communities experience significantly elevated suicide levels." According to Dr. David Phillips, Las Vegas "displays the highest levels of suicide in the nation, both for residents of Las Vegas and for visitors to that setting." In Atlantic City, N.J., Phillips found that "abnormally high suicide levels for visitors and residents appeared only after gambling casinos were opened."

Nevada had the highest suicide rate in the nation from 1990-1994, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In Gulfport, Mississippi, suicides increased by 213 percent (from 24 to 75) in the first two years after casinos arrived. In neighboring Biloxi, suicide attempts jumped by 1,000 percent (from 6 to 66) in the first year alone.

The National Council on Problem Gambling, citing various studies, reports that one in five pathological gamblers attempts suicide, a rate higher than for any other addictive disorder.

At least 140 clients at Minnesota's six gambling addiction treatment centers have attempted suicide, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune. The paper confirmed six gambling-related suicides in that state, but noted that the six are "almost certainly a fraction of the total number," given that authorities often do not ascertain motives in suicide cases.

A survey of nearly 200 Gamblers Anonymous members in Illinois found that 66 percent had contemplated suicide, 79 percent had wanted to die, 45 percent had a definite plan to kill themselves, and 16 percent had actually attempted suicide.

Multiple casino-related suicides also have been reported in various others states, including Iowa, Missouri and Connecticut.

"There's no way we can explain it to you if you're not living in our personal hell, because we don't understand it either." -Recovering gambling addict

-- Posted by capeman1 on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 2:40 PM

That is the ugliest casino I have ever seen!

-- Posted by survivalist on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 3:15 PM

The casino will be nothing but positive for the first few years. It's exciting and new and nearly everyone in our community(myself included) will have to go check it out at least a couple of times. Our local economy will improve and crime will drop and the casino will be the lauded.

The problems don't begin until years 3-4-5 after all the newness has rubbed off. The casual entertainment seekers have have already been there and done that enough times to move on to whatever the next interesting thing is. When that happens the casino will cut back on security, close a few of those restaurants, cut back on other services and start laying people off. 5 years from now their employee count will be less than half of their opening day employee count. That is when the area around the casino will go back to being sketchy, and the majority of the remaining casino regulars are going there primary to satisfy a compulsion rather than for mere entertainment, and at least a small percentage of those regulars have burned through all the savings they had, credit they could get, and friends they could bum off of.

-- Posted by Nil on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 4:17 PM

Good assessment Nil.

-- Posted by swampeastmissouri on Tue, Oct 16, 2012, at 5:18 PM

Imagine being able to alter your world to bring back lost lovers, make someone sexually attracted to you,bring trust into your relationship, lose weight, stop smoking, get a promotion or raise,win a lottery,be lucky while gambling or simply come into big money. All is possible with the astounding power of the High PROPHET OF GODDESS and his outstanding spell casting abilities. You have the power to change the future, change your destiny, E mail him on prophetofgoddess@yahoo.com or view his website www.prophetofgoddess.com and get the things out of life you need to bring success, luck, and happiness.

-- Posted by sonia3 on Thu, Oct 18, 2012, at 5:21 PM

I've visited both Caruthersville and Metropolis and the thing I specifically noticed is that the casinos sucked the life out of the streets and businesses around them. Those businesses hoping to draw extra visitors from the casino are stupid, the shareholders of Isle of Capri only make their money back by keeping people inside the casino. That's why there are 5 restaurants.

-- Posted by Tech_Dude on Thu, Oct 25, 2012, at 7:52 PM

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Jan. 27, 2010

Missouri gambling regulators vote to close an aging St. Louis riverboat casino, clearing the way for Cape Girardeau to grab the 13th and final state casino license.

July 8, 2010

Isle of Capri and St. Louis Capital Partners, LLC, each give presentations of a potential Cape Girardeau casino development to the city council.

July 16, 2010

Cape Girardeau's city clerk tells the Southeast Missourian that enough signatures are certified on a petition to force a vote on the casino issue.

July 19, 2010

The city council sets a Nov. 2 election date for the vote on the casino issue.

Aug. 26, 2010

The city council chooses Isle of Capri as its preferred casino project.

Nov. 2, 2010

Cape Girardeau voters overwhelmingly favor a casino development, with 7,635 yes votes to 4,850 no votes.

Dec. 1, 2010

The Missouri Gaming Commission in a unanimous selection picks Cape Girardeau for the 13th casino license in the state.

March 31, 2011

Ground broken on casino development on North Main Street in Cape Girardeau at the old shoe factory site.

June 27, 2011

Isle of Capri announces contractors for the casino building project, picking a St. Louis company and a Mississippi company to oversee building of the casino.

June 8, 2012

Isle of Capri tells the Southeast Missourian its new casino will open no later than Nov. 1, two months ahead of the original timeline.

Oct. 14, 2012

Isle of Capri says it will open its new casino on Oct. 30.

Map of pertinent addresses