Groundbreaking for New Jefferson Casino

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JEFFERSON, Iowa -- Groundbreaking was held Thursday for a new $40 million casino on the north edge of town.  The 71,000 square foot facility will including gaming and entertainment space.

The casino is the first to be approved by the Racing and Gaming Commission in several years.  Local residents voted over 75% to allow a casino in Greene County, and Wild Rose was selected as the vendor.

The new venue is expected to add 275 jobs with a $7 million annual payroll. The facility will include a 9,000 square foot event center. There will also be space for a full service restaurant and sports bar.  Also a 71 room hotel is being constructed with local investors.

Gary Kirke, Chairman of Wild Rose Jefferson said when he was first approached  he told a community representative," You gotta go back and get grass roots support for this." Kirke added, "You people have done that since day one, it's remarkable."

Wild Rose Jefferson is set to open in late summer of 2015. Earth movers have been on the site over two weeks getting things started. Tom Timmons, President of Wild Rose Jefferson said "Heavy rains have made it difficult to get site work underway." The facility will be constructed  using the design-build approach, which allows the project to be designed and built in phases. This is a way to streamline the process and  keep things on schedule, according to a Wild Rose news release.

Chris Henning of the Jefferson Chamber said, "It's exciting  to see so many supporters and all the Wild Rose folks, we've got dirt moved already." She added the new casino is an economic driver as it the new Iowa Home Base Initiative. Jefferson was selected as the first Iowa town to participate in this program to welcome veterans to Iowa with jobs, housing and other types of help.

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