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Independent evaluation shows Cherokee County casino site not via - KOAM TV 7

Independent evaluation shows Cherokee County casino site not viable

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PITTSBURG, KANSAS - A recent report conducted on behalf of the Crawford County Convention and Vistors Bureau has determined that there are serious questions as to the viability of a proposed casino in the southeast corner of Kansas. The state is evaluating threee proposals for a casino in SEK under provisions of the Kansas Expanded Lottery Act. Two of the proposals are sites in Crawford County, with the third proposed in Cherokee County.

"Southeast Kansas is excited at the opportunity to have a great destination casino for our region," noted BJ Harris, director of the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau. "But we need to make sure the succesful casion applicant cand actually build and operate a facility that is the best fit for this market. So many folks have raised questions about the viability of the project proposed for Cherokee County we decided an independent evaluation would be a logical next step. That is why we took the initiative to ask an outside expert to review what seemed on the surface to be a very unstable proposal in the Castle Rock Casino proposal. Those questions of viability have been examined by Jay Samo & Associates (Click Here). This firm has experience in the Oklahoma region, making them uniquely qualified to evaluate this proposal."

The report higlighted five major areas of concern:

  • Revenue projections made by the Castle Rock group are grossly exaggerated to be nearly double what the objective analysis suggests is realistic. 
  • Construction costs are woefully underestimated for the size and scope of the project at less that half what the analysis suggests.
  • The number of employees is overstated for the size of the project by nearly 50%
  • The net effect of inflated revenue projections and understated construction cost could well lead to insolvency of the project.
  • Additional marketing considerations due to Castle Rock Casino's locations being adjacent to the $300 million Downstream facility and other tribal gaming operations in Oklahoma are significant and shouldn't be underestimated.
"Folks in our region above all else, want this casion to be successful. And they know that being the "biggest" isn't always the best. For sure, we understand that the market in our region is different that in other regions, due in no small part to the number of tribal casinos in Oklahoma," said Harris. "It brings to mind the old adage that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. And this study clearly suggests the Castle Rock proposal is a risky proposal. Our part of the state can truly prosper if the state selection process looks at the viability of the proposals and understands that the Castle Rock proposal has a very high likelihood of financial failure."

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