More Details Released on Terre Haute Casino Proposals

Inside Indiana Business
 
More Details Released on Terre Haute Casino Proposals
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TERRE HAUTE - Details are continuing to emerge regarding more proposals for a new casino in Terre Haute. Full House Resorts Inc. (NASDAQ: FLL), which operates Rising Star Casino in Ohio County, and a joint venture involving Mississippi-based Premier Gaming Group have unveiled their projects, totaling $250 million and more than $100 million, respectively.

The companies are two of four that have applied for the vacant gaming license in Vigo County after the Indiana Gaming Commission denied a renewal to the former license holder, Terre Haute-based Lucy Luck Gaming. 

Full House is proposing to develop what would be known as American Place on a 32-acre parcel of land it currently has under contract near the Interstate 70 interchange at State Road 46. The project includes the casino, which would include 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games and a sportsbook. Plans also call for a hotel and a large greenhouse, which would feature two restaurants and venues for weddings and other group events.

Chief Development Officer Alex Stolyar tells our partners at WTHI-TV the company is looking to create a destination.

"People are looking for entertainment and they're looking to travel," said Stolyar. "We needed to build something and design something that can really appeal to bringing customers in not just from the local area, but from a much wider regional area. This is a great opportunity for us to really deliver something to Terre Haute and the people of Vigo County unlike anything they've seen before."

Full House also has plans for a solar energy farm that would provide a portion of the property's electricity needs.

Premier Gaming Group, which operates Magnolia Bluffs Casino & Hotel in Mississippi, is planning its casino as part of a joint venture with New York-based real estate private equity firm Sculptor Real Estate.

An exact location for PGG's proposal is not yet known. The company says the project would include a casino with 800 slot machines and 20 table games, as well as an 80-room hotel that also features meeting, spa, and fitness space. The resort would also feature several food and beverage concepts, including a rooftop bar.

Founder and President Kevin Preston tells WTHI the community aspect of the project is a major factor in deciding to pursue the gaming license.

"Being an individual owner of casinos, we really get engulfed in the community and that's what important to us is becoming a solid community partner," said Preston. "I grew up on the south side of Chicago and spent some time in Terre Haute growing up and when this came available, I just thought it was a perfect fit for the company. Once we were there multiple times, it was a great fit for us."

Florida-based Hard Rock International has not publicly disclosed the investment for its proposed casino. However, in documents filed with the IGC, Hard Rock says the Rocksino Terre Haute will feature 850 slot machines, 35 table games, six restaurants and bars, a 300-seat entertainment venue, and a 1,000-square-foot retail shop.

"We believe the project and what we plan to build will be a major attraction and an economic driver for the city, Vigo County, and regional community. Hard Rock locations have proven time and again to entice customers to drive further, appeal to a more diverse crowd and achieve significant repeat guests and high customer satisfaction," the company said. "Our proposal has been designed to encapsulate Hard Rock’s brand pillars and will truly be a destination casino that Vigo County and the members of the Terre Haute community will be proud of."

A rendering of the Hard Rock casino shows what appears to be a hotel, but details on lodging as part of the project were not provided.

Louisville-based Churchill Downs Inc. (Nasdaq: CHDN) has its plan for The Queen of Terre Haute resort, which would include 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, a sportsbook and a 125-room hotel. 

The Indiana Gaming Commission is expected to make a decision on which group will receiving the gaming license by the end of the year.

Lucy Luck Gaming has previously has appealed the decision by the IGC to not renew the license. The company had planned a $175 million Hard Rock Casino with the goal of opening in 2022.

WTHI has reached out to the IGC for details on how the appeal would affect the new application process for the license, but has not yet received a response.

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