Say goodbye to riverboat gambling in the Quad Cities area. Rhythm City Casino officially broke ground Thursday, June 4th on the site of a new land-based casino near I-74 and I-80 in Davenport, Iowa. The new casino is expected to open on Memorial Day weekend next year.
A few short weeks ago, Isle of Capri Bettendorf broke ground on a new casino floor to be located between the existing hotel towers – signalling the end of their maritime casino venture in the area.
The new Rhythm City Casino will feature more than 100 hotel rooms, a spa, a buffet, fine dining venue, lounge and event center. Not only will moving off the river save the property operating costs, but the $110 million development should provide a better experience for visitors as well.
Dan Kehl, the CEO of Kehl Management said, “Definitely easier access, a more comfortable facility, more of a resort, a destination. It’s a lot different than the old days of the riverboats, that’s for sure.”
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission recently gave Kehl’s Elite Casino Resorts approval to consolidate Rhythm City, Riverside Casino & Golf Resort in Riverside, and Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort in Larchwood under unified management. The Kehl family were pioneers in riverboat casinos, receiving Iowa’s first gambling licence in 1990.
Rhythm City expects employment to double to abut 800 when the new casino opens bringing the total for all three casino to over 1,500 employees. The company says that with $250 million in annual revenue they are the second largest producer in the state. Davenport’s mayor Bill Gluba said, “This road will lead to some $250 million in new tax base for the city of Davenport, a record amount in one area,” referring to the new casino as part of larger expansion to the north, including a nearby entertainment district to be dubbed, “River 80”.