Jan 5, 2012

Casino project could bring jobs to Beloit

Excerpted from Channel300.com

Thousands of new jobs could be coming to the Beloit area in the next few years if a tribal casino is built.

Beloit’s City Council on Wednesday night drafted an inter-governmental agreement with the Ho-Chunk Nation to build a casino.

Beloit City Manager Larry Arft describes the potential casino as a significant economic development generator.

“This certainly is a game changer, a paradigm shift, to get a facility of this size and magnitude. We don’t have all the final numbers yet, but the job totals would be in the thousands. The annual operating budget, many millions of dollars, and much of that would flow through the local economy,” Arft said.

Arft said the Ho-Chunk Nation purchased the land a few years ago in hopes of building a recreational facility. He said he’s optimistic the project will spark additional development in the area.

“Of course it will have the normal accoutrements that would support the facility. There’d be a hotel, theater, conference convention meeting space, that sort of thing. Probably some restaurants and shops,” Arft said.

The project is still in the early stages and no commitments have been made.

Arft said the facility would help put Beloit on the map.

“We would become a destination location in Wisconsin,” he said.

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