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East St. Louis Welcomes Re-Opening of Casino Queen
Local East St. Louis dignitaries, Casino Queen officials and stakeholders cut the ribbon during grand re-opening ceremonies, August 2, 2007, at the new $92 million, 207,500-square-foot gaming complex.
by Betty Moore, SWI-News.com
EAST ST. LOUIS, IL, (SWI-News.com), August 2, 2007 - The Casino Queen re-opened its doors, Thursday afternoon, August 2, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony, private tour and VIP Party at its new $92 million, 207,500-square-foot gaming facility.
Local East St. Louis dignitaries, Casino Queen officials, stakeholders, and special guests were on hand for the unveiling of the football-size gaming floor, new restaurants and bars.
Jim Koman, President of the Casino Queen, remarked that he had planned one of the hottest days of the summer to open the casino. "It's 65 degrees inside," said Koman.
"We broke ground for this new facility a little over a year ago, and at the height of the project, our contractors Clayco Inc. and the Legacy Building Group had up to 450 different tradesman on site, sometimes 24/7, helping to transform the vision we had for this facility into reality," stated Koman.
He noted that the vision extended to the City of East St. Louis and the vital role that the Casino Queen has playing in helping to support the City's revitalization efforts. "Our operation has contributed over $550 million in taxes to the state of Illinois," stated Koman.
East St. Louis Mayor Alvin L. Parks stated that "We are all partners in this thing called success." He noted that the Casino Queen had already contributed over $150 million in tax dollars to the City's general revenue fund and its 31,522 residents.
East St. Louis Mayor Alvin L. Parks stated enthusiastically that "The City of East St. Louis is very excited about the expansion and development at the Casino Queen."
"The Casino Queen has been our saving corporate citizen," stated Mayor Parks. "They have helped kids with scholorship funds and helped with our cleanup program every Saturday morning. Your success Casino Queen has helped put us on the map."
"The Casino Queen is the 6th largest drawing card between Missouri and Illinois," the Mayor continued. "And from what I have seen, people are going to get in there and never come out. It has all the new types of bells and whistles in gaming. Here's a great place to just come and enjoy a show or to eat," said Mayor Parks. "We are ready to help you be even more successful."
Tom Monaghan, General Manager, stated that the success of the expansion was made possible through the efforts of over 1,100 employees who worked as a team to make sure everything is in place for our customers to have an incredible experience. "Everything that was wrong has been fixed and we still have the 'loosest slots in the country'," stated Monaghan.
Monaghan highlighted facts on the new enhanced amenities including the state-of-art HVAC system, the football-size gaming floor, and the new restaurants. "We have reinvested in our customers with the move off the Mississippi River. Now everything is on one level and significantly more accessible."
Operations in the old facility on the Mississippi River had closed at 3 a.m. the morning of August 2, so that existing slot machines could be moved into the new facility, a one-of-a-kind "boat in a moat" casino in Illinois.
Following the formal ribbon-cutting, guests eagerly headed inside to explore the gaming room and enjoy refreshments from the various food venues. The casino officially re-opened to the public at 8 p.m. A three-day Grand Opening Celebration is planned for August 8 - 10, featuring Las Vegas style entertainment, fireworks and custom laser light show lighting up the East St. Louis riverfront.
Guests, who attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Casino Queen, August 2, 2007, enjoyed checking out the football field-sized gaming floor, which features more than 1,100 slot machines and 34 table games all on one level.
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