The Hollywood Casino in Lawrenceburg is making an example of how a casino can help give back and build the prestige of a community. The Hollywood Casino Lawrenceburg and the city of Lawrenceburg have struck a $50 million deal to build a downtown convention center and hotel complex, scheduled to open in spring 2013.
Plans for the 235,000-square-foot facility in Lawrenceburg include a 180-room hotel, an 18,000-square-foot concert hall and exhibition space, a 7,500-square-foot ballroom and meeting space and a 150-seat restaurant and bar. The complex is expected to compete with Cincinnati’s casino but it is also intended to build up the city of Lawrenceburg.
Mayor William Cunningham said: “This helps revitalize downtown, which needs something to draw people and foot traffic…The benefits to the city clearly warrant the financial contributions we’re making to bring this project to fruition.” – Chicago Tribune.
The city is on the hook for $25 million while the casino will pay 4 percent interest on its 20-year loan from the city.
The give and take relationship is a change from what the Hoosier Lottery pulled on tax payers, when Hoosier Lottery Director Kathryn Densborn was forced to resign after coming under fire for using tax payer’s money to move the lottery to an upscale new headquarters in Indianapolis. Lottery officials were forced to admit in the wake of public backlash that some of the spending, including a new workout gym that cost more than $25,000, didn’t comply with Department of Administration standards.
Well, no kidding.
Governor Mitch Daniels has since appointed Megan Ornellas as interim executive director of the Hoosier Lottery following Densborn’s resignation last week.