A familiar sight along the Missouri River at Council Bluffs will soon be dismantled. Harrah’s Casino plans to decommission the triple-deck Kanesville Queen Riverboat as casino operations are moved indoors. Katie Manganaro, vice president of marketing for Harrah’s, say the boat will be open for a few more weeks.
“At the end of May, we’re going to close down the bottom level of the riverboat and move all of the slot machines and products from the boat to the new space,” Manganaro says. “June 3rd at 4 AM, we’re going to have to close the boat completely.” That new space on shore will hold its grand opening on June 8th. She says it’ll be a big change bidding the Queen farewell.
“This boat was built specifically for us,” Manganaro says. “We’re really sad to see the boat go but we’re excited to enter this new phase in our lives.” The new casino area has about 25,000 square feet of gaming space, which is a bit smaller than what was available on the boat.
“What that means is, we lose about 200 slot machines, however, we never really hit our capacity constraints on the boat, so we’re not really concerned about losing a couple of slot machines,” Manganaro says. “This will let us bring in new product so we can refresh what that gaming and slot and table games product is in the new casino space.”
As for what will happen to the old Kanesville Queen, she says it’ll be taken apart and sold for scrap. “We’ve listed the boat on a couple of different sites,” she says. “Obviously, we’d love for someone of interest with financing to be able to purchase the boat but we’re not sure that’s realistic. There’s not a huge demand for riverboats of that size.”
The new gaming space replaces what was Harrah’s convention area. Last summer, the company took over operations of the Mid America Center in Council Bluffs so all events that were held at the casino are now being held there. That includes weddings, receptions and conventions.