Iowa Approves Move To Land For Isle

Isle of Capri's plans for a $60 million, 82,000 square foot land-based casino in Bettendorf, Iowa recently were approved by the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission. Construction will start early next month on the 35,000 square foot casino to be built between two existing hotel towers, with an anticipated opening in summer 2016.

The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission unanimously approved the Isle of Casino’s plans for a million, 82,000 square foot land-based casino on the company’s riverfront property in downtown Bettendorf. The 35,000 square foot, single-story casino will feature 975 gaming machines and be built between two existing hotel towers with a total of 514 rooms. The project also will offer a buffet, diner, bar, stage and gift shop. Construction is expected to begin in early May and last 12-14 months.

John Wilson, Isle’s chief development officer, said the company expects to use cash flow from operations to fund construction, estimated at $30 million. He added the casino also has about $150 million available in existing credit. Last February, Isle received $51 million when Scott County Casino LLC purchased its Rhythm City Casino in Davenport, including the casino’s computer system, player reward system and slot machine accounting systems.

Recently in Davenport, ground was broken for the new $110 million land-based Rhythm City Casino, which will have an events center and 143 hotel rooms. Owner Scott County Casino LLC said the facility will open in spring 2016, encouraging talk of simultaneous grand openings.

The Bettendorf and Davenport casinos, which have been operating out of riverboats gambling began in the Quad Cities in 1991, will be the third and fourth land-based casinos in the area. In 2008, land-based Jumer’s Casino & Hotel opened in Rock Island, and Wild Rose Casino & Resort opened on the west side of Clinton. Riverside Casino and Golf Resort also is located in eastern Iowa south of Iowa City.