Indiana grows as gaming mecca

Feb 25, 2003 4:08 AM

They say things happen in 3’s. So how about the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, the RCA Dome and Belterra Casino ­­Resort?

It works, at least, as far as potential revenue.

Last week a $35 million expansion project began that would make Belterra the largest casino resort in the Hoosier state. In a release to GamingToday last week, resort officials said additions would include 300 guest rooms, including 40 suites. The total number of hotel rooms will hit 600.

Further expansion also involves an increase in meeting and conference space to 33,000 square feet. There will also a new year-round heated outdoor pool at the site.

The expansion, under the guidance of architect Marnell Corrao Associates of Las Vegas, is slated for completion in spring 2004. The architect has worked previously on such Las Vegas landmarks as The Mirage, Bellagio, Treasure Island, the Caesars Forum Shops, MGM Grand, Stardust and Boulder Station.

Currently, Belterra operates as a riverboat casino on the Ohio River near the Markland Dam. It is located within a 100-mile radius for nearly five million people, about one-hour from Cincinnati and Louisville.

Perhaps, Air Mohegan

Basketball superstar Michael Jordan has reportedly expressed an interest in possibly buying into the new Cove View condos in Norwich, which overlook the Mohegan Sun.

The Norwich Bulletin reported that Jordan’s management company has made inquiries about the luxury condos, but that no decisions have been made. Last week the building held an open house for real estate agents, city officials and prospective buyers.

The condos are expected to see their first occupants in May or June. Cove View ranges from 1,200 to 3,000 square feet and compares with any Broadway mansion. They are located along the Thames River at Norwich’s south end.

Turning Stone soars

The Turning Stone Casino Resort has seen its profits jump from $45 million to $70 million over the past four years, according to a report to potential investors.

The Syracuse Post Standard reported that the upstate New York Indian gaming resort had experienced a 40 percent increase in gaming since 1998. Gamblers were said to have spent about $180 million in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, 2002.

Sebastian Sinclair, president of a New York City gaming consulting firm, told the Syracuse newspaper that the resort’s profit margins could drop as New York and neighboring states add casinos and slot machines.

Reaching for MOON

The second phase of the highly-anticipated MOON Resort and Casino and Vancouver was announced during a news conference last week.

Plans include an 18-hole championship golf course measuring some 7,500 yards and capable of hosting a PGA tournament. The centerpiece, according to the report, calls for a 250-foot sphere, which will appear to float in its own moat.

There are plans in the works for 12,000 gaming machines and 600 gambling tables. No date for the completion of the resort was mentioned or available.