Kansas Lottery Gaming Board Signs Off on $88M Casino Proposal

Butler National Service Corp. has been awarded the 15-year contract to develop and manage the Southwest Gaming Zone in Dodge City by the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, thereby paving the way for Butler’s development of its Boot Hill Casino & Resort. Butler and equity partner Larry J. Woolf & Associates have set the cost of the project at $87.5 million to complete. Boot Hill, which won out over a proposal by Dodge City Resort and Gaming Co. L.L.C., will be designed to evoke the 1870s-1880s period at Dodge City’s historic Boot Hill destination. When all is said and done, the gaming facility will feature 48,500 square feet of casino space, a 124-room hotel, and 43,000 square feet of retail offerings. Construction will take place in two parts, with Phase I scheduled to open in September 2009 with an investment of $45 million, and Phase II to be completed within 38 months of the contract’s final approval at a cost of $42.5 million. Butler’s successful passing of background checks by the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission and the finalization of its contract mark the final hurdles the developer must clear before it can move forward with Boot Hill. Butler anticipates attaining the final go-ahead on or before December 5 of this year. Kansas is beefing up its gaming industry, acting in accordance with legislation that allows for the development of one new state-owned casino in four different counties. Last week, a joint venture involving real estate firm The Cordish Co. and Kansas Speedway secured a casino management contract from the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board for the development of a $705 million, 1.5 million-square-foot Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Wyandotte County. Another project had been on tap for Cherokee County until earlier last month when Penn National Gaming Inc. withdrew its proposal for the $225 million Hollywood Casino Resort, citing insurmountable competition from a new Oklahoma casino that is just over the state line. Headquartered in Olathe, Kans., Butler National Service Corp. is a leading provider of professional gaming management services. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Butler National Corp., which operates in the aerospace industry.