The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission Thursday approved a plan that will substantially increase the size and features of the casino that’s under construction in Waterloo. Although the commissioners said they were disappointed the expansion will set back the opening of the facility.
Curtis Beason represented the Isle of Capri casino before the commission, and says the new plan increases the size of the project by 140-thousand square feet, adds a pool, spa and entertainment area. Beason says the additions are needed to match some of the offerings of the new Riverside Casino.
Beason says the adding of the additional amenities is a "great thing for the area, and we think it will increase the ability of the casino to attract additional guests." The additions bump the cost of the casino from 119-million dollars to 175 million. Beason says the additions will also set back the opening date.
Beason says when you make these kind of additions you have to change the construction project to accommodate the changes. Beason says the casino, which had originally been set to open April 1st, is now projected to open in May.
Beason says the hiring is already underway for the casino, and is going well. Beason says the human resources officials are pleased with the number of people applying. Casino officials estimated they would hire some 800 people. The Racing and Gaming Commission had hoped the Waterloo casino would open on time and provide them with information they could use in their discussions about the possibility of adding new gambling licenses.