The Cedar Rapids skyline could change if Wild Rose Casino & Resort can move forward with a proposed casino in the downtown section of Iowa’s second-largest city.
The Cedar Rapids skyline could change if Wild Rose Casino & Resort can move forward with a proposed casino in the downtown section of Iowa’s second-largest city.

November 17, 2016

Wild Rose Casino & Resort Wednesday announced its intention to work with members of a newly formed nonprofit board, Cedar River Alliance for Gaming.

The board would oversee and distribute gambling revenues to initiatives, charities and other projects connected with a proposed casino in the state’s second-largest city.

In September, Wild Rose together with Steve Emerson of Aspect Architecture and Hunter Parks of Hunter Companies announced their proposal for a casino to be located in downtown Cedar Rapids.

The development is projected to create at least 200 permanent jobs in the community, and inject millions into the economy via employee payroll and benefits alone.

This urban, boutique-style casino would be the first of its kind in Iowa. The casino is unique in Iowa, as the facility would not include a hotel or formal dining component. These important distinctions set the proposal apart from previous efforts, and allow for existing hospitality providers and eateries in the area to thrive and grow alongside the casino, Wild Rose officials says.

“Investing in and growing the Cedar Rapids economy are top priorities for us,” said Tom Timmons, president and chief operating officer at Wild Rose. “We are proud to work with the local leaders of Cedar River Alliance for Gaming to oversee charitable-giving initiatives related to our proposed casino project. We look forward to furthering our effort and contributing to the community in a significant way.”

“The Cedar Rapids community will benefit enormously from a successful gaming project,” said Dick Meisterling, chairman of the Cedar River Alliance for Gaming. “I am thrilled to join this new board, reinvigorate enthusiasm for gaming in our community, and contribute to Cedar Rapids in a positive way through charitable giving.”

In addition to its direct economic impact, Wild Rose is committed to the growth and well-being of the Cedar Rapids community. Wild Rose Cedar Rapids will donate a portion of its revenue to Cedar River Alliance for Gaming, which will in turn support local projects that directly enhance the lives of Cedar Rapidians. The funds will provide support for K-12 schools, scholarships, food banks, homeless shelters, libraries, fire departments, and many other causes.

Since 2006, Wild Rose casinos in Clinton, Jefferson and Emmetsburg have contributed about $35 million to local nonprofits and have generated $158 million in gaming taxes that benefit the state and local economy.

Wild Rose plans to file for a gaming license from the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission in the near future for the Cedar Rapids project.