Work ready to begin on Wild Rose Jefferson

Wild Rose Site June 17.2A sign has been posted and large equipment is on site ready to take out 43 acres of soybeans at the location of Wild Rose  Jefferson, scheduled to open  next summer.

Building plans were prepared months ago in hopeful anticipation the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission would approve the application for a gaming license. That approval came last Thursday in Burlington.

Wild Rose Entertainment had prepared two press releases for that day, one for approval of the license, and one to be used if the license was denied. The first version was distributed immediately after the IRGC adjourned.

“We are very appreciative of the vote today,” the press release quoted Wild Rose president and CEO Tom Timmons as saying. “We know that the commissioners take great care and effort in making these decisions, and we thank each of them for their commitment to the process.

Wild Rose new 2The IRGC’s approval clears the way for the construction of a $40 million gaming resort and entertainment venue at the northwest corner of Highways 4 and 30. In addition to the 18,000 square-foot casino with approximately 525 slot machines and 14 table games, the entertainment venue will feature an events center, sports bar and a restaurant. Adjacent will be a 71-room hotel developed by BriMark Builders LLC.

Contractor will be Edge Companies of Grimes, with construction manager DJ Opdahl. Opdahl worked on both the Emmetsburg and the Clinton casinos. The architectural drawings, first introduced last August after the referendum, were done by DLR, which has a Des Moines office.

Wild Rose officials estimate the company will hire 275 employees and add a payroll and benefits package totaling $7 million annually.

Grow Greene County, the qualified sponsoring organization (QSO), has negotiated a 5 percent share of the casino’s adjusted gross receipts. Grow Greene County will share the estimated $1.5 million in proceeds, making up to 20 percent available to nonprofit organizations and civic projects in Boone, Calhoun, Carroll, Dallas and Guthrie counties.

Site preparation will begin very soon. Construction should take approximately 13 months. Timmons anticipates the casino will open late next summer.

Wild Rose Entertainment was founded in 2004 by Iowa businessmen Gary Kirke and Michael Richards. The company owns and operates two casinos: Wild Rose Emmetsburg and Wild Rose Clinton. Since earning its first license in 2005, the company has generated approximately $25 million for charities and community projects in Palo Alto and Clinton counties and paid more than $115 million in state and local taxes.

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