A Minnesota company has the formal support of the Kimball City Council and Kimball County Commissioners for a horse racetrack-casino resort development on the southeastern edge of the town.
Canterbury Park Holdings Corporation addressed both bodies at a joint town hall meeting Wednesday that saw nearly everyone there in favor of the project.
A few raised concerns about increased litter, noise, and light pollution.
The Canterbury Park proposal is for a $50-to- 60 million dollar complex at the Interstate 80 interchange with the Hwy 71 Bypass
It would take about 18 months to complete, although the hotel could be expanded in phases to 240 rooms. The complex would create about 200 jobs with a $10-million dollar annual payroll.
Canterbury spokesman Mike Montross told the audience the company asked for the meeting before doing anything else because the board of directors is adamant the complex needs to be part of and reflect the Kimball community.
Montross said Kimball County is uniquely positioned for a racetrack-casino complex because it would draw gamblers from not just Nebraska, but also Colorado and Wyoming as well as travelers on the interstate.
The company estimates 80% of those coming to the racetrack and casino would need to be from outside the local area, so it expects to spend $2-million dollars a year on marketing – advertising Montross said would help tourism across the Panhandl.
Canterbury Park now needs to get approval and gaming licenses from the Nebraska Gaming Commission, but has formal letters of support from the Kimball Council and County Commissioners.
The proposal is competing with about a dozen other racetrack-casinos stemming from last year’s voter approval of a constitutional amendment allowing casinos at horse tracks.