Wild Rose Casinos decided to take a calculated risk when it put down $40 million to develop its Wild Rose Jefferson casino in rural Iowa. The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission had released to market studies back in 2014 stating that there was an opportunity for a casino in rural Iowa to be profitable as it would bring in gamblers from rural communities and nearby localities such as Ford Dodge, Ames and Des Moines.
Those market predictions appear to be just about right as the Wild Rose Jefferson Casino has done reasonably well during its first year of operations. The casino, which opened its doors to the public in July 2015, has since recorded close to $27 million in gross casino revenue, with the average gambler spending around $57 per visit. The revenue generated is the lowest among the nineteen regulated casinos in Iowa and the 471,000 customer admissions so far is also a lot lower than what other casinos such as the Horseshoe casino in Council Bluffs and the Prairie Meadows in Altoona record.
The Wild Rose Jefferson has a gaming floor of around 18,000 square feet which hosts around 510 slot machines and 12 table games. The casino also provides employment to around 230 employees and spends close to $6 million in annual salaries and employee benefits. Tom Timmons, the chief operating officer and president of the Wild Rose Casinos and Resorts has been pleased with the performance of the casino facility and stated that although business was slow at first, things have picked up at the Jefferson casino and casino revenue has climbed fourteen percent during the last six months.
The casino which is located in Greene County has been successful in attracting gamblers from Oregon, Texas, Kansas, Minnesota, South Dakota and a number of Iowa counties and as a result has made a small impact on the revenues of surrounding casinos such as the Wild Rose Casino in Emmetsburg and the Prairie Meadows in Altoona.
In a statement, Gary Palmer, chief executive officer and president of Prairie Meadows said “To be truthful with you, any time another casino comes into the market, you are going to lose something”. However it was hard to estimate just how much of an impact the Jefferson casino having as Palmer noted that Prairie Meadows’s gross revenue was $182.6 million during the 2015 calendar year, which was a decline of $3 million. However he expects casino revenue to increase by three percent during the 2016 calendar year.
The Wild Rose Jefferson casino also built a 1,100 seat entertainment center that has hosted a number of concerts over the last year and provided the rural community with a great deal of entertainment. Kenny Rogers, Blood, Sweat and Tears and the Oak Ridge Boys have all performed at the center and country singer B.J Thomas is also expected to perform shortly. The casino has also provided over $900,000 in grants in order to develop and improve the local community.