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$100 million casino resort planned for Grand Island

$100 million casino resort planned for Grand Island

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Grand Island Casino

The planned $100 million casino resort at Grand Island’s Fonner Park would include a 116-room boutique hotel.

03/02/21 - Chris Kotulak, Fonner Park CEO, told Hall County Commissioners that keno will still have a presence at Fonner Park as search continues for casino operator, detailed how casino will be developed. (Independent/Brandon Summers)

An Iowa-based casino operator has plans for a $100 million casino resort at Grand Island’s Fonner Park.

Local officials on Friday announced they have chosen Elite Casino Resorts to develop the casino complex at the horse racing track.

Elite plans a casino with 650 slot machines and 20 table games, as well as a VIP lounge. It also will construct a 116-room boutique hotel with indoor and outdoor pools and a spa and salon.

The casino resort will be integrated into the existing Fonner Complex and also will include several restaurants.

Officials from Elite, which operates casinos in Iowa City, Davenport and Larchwood, Iowa, said they plan to hire nearly 400 people for the operation.

Of the $100 million investment, $45 million will be spent on new construction and about $3.5 million will be spent on upgrades to the existing Fonner Park.

The Fonner Park casino is the second one to be announced publicly since Nebraska voters voted last year to allow casino gambling at the state’s horse tracks.

WarHorse Gaming, a subsidiary of the Winnebago Tribe’s Ho-Chunk Inc., in January unveiled plans for a $200 million casino resort at the Lincoln Race Track that will include 1,200 gaming stations, a spa, restaurant, bars and conference and event space, as well as a 196-room hotel.

Warhorse said it hopes to have the casino completed and fully operational sometime next year.

The company also plans casinos in Omaha and South Sioux City, although it has not yet unveiled plans.

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