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Golden Gaming sets sights on Kansas

Oct 23, 2007 1:27 AM

Las Vegas-based Golden Gaming, Inc., has tossed its hat into the Kansas ring with a proposal to build a $600 million destination casino resort in Wyandotte County near Kansas City.

Golden Gaming joins several other blue chip casino operators in a bid to land a casino license in Southeast Kansas. Last week, the company filed planning and zoning applications for the project with the cities of Edwardsville and Bonner Springs.

Earlier this year, Kansas passed legislation that would provide for up to four state-owned casinos.

Among the companies submitting bids were Sheldon Adelson’s Las Vegas Sands, Pinnacle Entertainment, and a partnership formed between Olympia Gaming and the Mohegan Sun Tribal Gaming Authority.

Under legislation approved in April, gambling would be expanded beyond Kansas’s racetracks and tribal casinos by allowing four state-owned casinos complexes, if voters in targeted counties approve the facilities.

Golden Gaming’s proposed project will be located on 200 acres immediately south and adjacent to Interstate 70 at 110th St. The project spans Edwardsville and Bonner Springs within Wyandotte County and will bring significant economic benefits to all three jurisdictions.

"After looking at other potential markets nationally for our flagship property, we believe Kansas presents the best opportunity because we have an unmatched site and the best development plan," said Blake L. Sartini, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Golden Gaming. "We are not here as the largest gaming company competing for a Wyandotte County location, but as a mid-size gaming company best suited to giving this project the time, attention and focus it deserves. We look forward to partnering with the state of Kansas and Wyandotte County."

Sartini’s plans call for a world-class development that will include a hotel, spa, restaurants, retail shops, convention and meeting space, an 18-hole championship golf course, entertainment venues and more. Golden Gaming has retained top hotel-casino planning and design architecture firm Friedmutter Group Inc. of Las Vegas for the project.

"Our vision for Wyandotte County incorporates the culture, landscape and materials unique to the area with the latest in cutting-edge casino resort design," said Friedmutter’s Director of Design, Albie Colotto.

The Kansas project would be Golden Gaming’s most aggressive so far in the history of the up-and-coming company.

Golden Gaming, along with its affiliate Golden Mardi Gras, Inc., operates three divisions: Golden Casino Group, consisting of the Golden Mardi Gras Casino, Golden Gates Casino and Golden Gulch Casino in Black Hawk, Colorado, the Pahrump Nugget Hotel & Casino in Pahrump, and manages casino operations for the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.

The company’s Golden Tavern Group, is Nevada’s largest tavern operator with 44 establishments, including Sierra Gold and PT’s Pub, PT’s Place brands; and its Golden Route Operations, is Nevada’s third largest slot route operator with more than 2,500 machines in more than 200 locations throughout the state.