The Waterloo City Council today approved a dealt that could bring a 70-million dollar riverboat gambling complex and 800 jobs to Black Hawk County. The owners of the Isle of Capri riverboat in Davenport want to build the complex next to a water park in southeast Waterloo. The project would include an excursion boat, the development of a 30-acre lake, a hotel, and at least three new restaurants. The city council endorsed the project on a 5-TO-2 vote this morning (Wednesday). Despite objections from many gambling supporters who want a floating casino downtown. The president of the Isle of Capri, Tim Hinkley, says putting a riverboat on the Cedar River wouldn’t be feasible. He says he doesn’t know that he could get the number of parking spaces downtown that he can get at the water park site. Waterloo Mayor John Rooff says the council endorsed the water park project because it’s the only one that has surfaced. He says they have to take the projects as they come. Rooff says there’s a lot of work to be done, but it’s something that’s very positive for the community. The future of the complex is contingent upon Black Hawk County voters passing an October 7th gambling referendum and the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approving an expansion of gambling licenses in the state.
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