Penn National Proposes Two Casinos in Iowa Totaling $327M

Penn National Gaming submitted two proposals for a new gaming and entertainment destination in Iowa’s Woodbury County to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission to possibly build its trademark Hollywood Casino.

Penn National Gaming, Inc. submitted two proposals for a new gaming and entertainment destination in Iowa’s Woodbury County to the Iowa Racing & Gaming Commission to possibly build its trademark Hollywood Casino.

One proposal is for a $160 million downtown Hollywood Casino Sioux City, which would be built on a 10-acre site in the center of one of the prime areas that the Sioux City Planning Division has identified as a preferred casino zone. The other is for a $167 million Hollywood Casino Siouxland in Woodbury County.

The Hollywood Casino Sioux City property would feature a 33,000 square-foot casino floor with 750 slot machines, 20 live table games and a five-table poker room. It would also feature a 6,000 square-foot multi-purpose event center with a 500-seat concert venue and include structured parking for 800 vehicles and a 300-space surface lot.

Non-gaming dining and entertainment amenities would include a fine-dining steakhouse, casual grille, casino bar and sports pub.

A $40 million phase II expansion with a 150-guestroom hotel as well as space for an additional 50 slot machines, five table games, five new poker tables and additional food and beverage options is also part of the development plan.

Hollywood Casino Siouxland would be a $167 million project located south of Sioux City and would include a 150-room hotel as part of its phase I construction. It would consist of a similar-sized casino floor, multi-purpose center and the same non-gaming dining and entertainment amenities.

“With our recent record of developing new properties in a number of markets and reflecting our financial strength as an ability to deliver on the commitments we’ve made, those are critical distinguishing factors,” Peter Carlino, Penn National Gaming’s chairman and CEO, told Commercial Property Executive. “We believe our Sioux City proposals are the best way forward for the community and we believe each proposal represents the strongest option for Woodbury County and the State of Iowa.”

The proposals are similar in scope, but the unique characteristics of each location will allow the IRGC to determine which type of facility would best serve the region and the State of Iowa.

While the number of proposed gaming projects in recent years that have not been completed is many, Penn National has had considerable success with building first-class gaming and entertainment resorts in urban locations, most recently with casinos in Toledo and Columbus, Ohio. Overall, it operates 29 facilities in 19 jurisdictions. Penn National also owns the Argosy Sioux City riverboat casino.

Penn National is looking forward to the chance to work with the IRGC and other local leaders to develop whichever of the proposals they feel is best suited and most beneficial to the city and state of Iowa.

“Penn National requires no financing to move forward with our proposals and can fund either of these projects with cash flow from existing operations,” Carlino said. “Both of our proposals also allow Penn National to introduce Sioux City to our Hollywood brand, which invokes the glamour of 1930s’ art deco Hollywood.”

If approved, either proposal will create more than 800 new construction jobs as well as 400 jobs at the facility upon opening.

The IRGC plans to make a decision on submitted proposals on April 18, 2013. If chosen, each Hollywood project would take approximately 18 months to complete.