As Isle of Capri Casino transitions to new ownership, plans are in the works for a $61 million redevelopment.
Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc. acquired the casino on July 1 from Eldorado Resorts, which is preparing for a $17.3 billion merger with Caesars Entertainment Corp.
The company owns and manages nine casinos: two in Rhode Island, two in Mississippi, one in Delaware, one in Missouri and three in Colorado, in addition to a racetrack.
“We expect to substantially reposition the casino in this market and transform the facility to match the wonderful area in which it is located,” President and CEO George Papanier said. “We are working diligently on these enhancements and expect to announce our construction plans in the near future.”
According to the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Greater Kansas City, of which Isle of Capri is a member, plans include completely replacing the riverboat-themed exterior of the building with a more modern aesthetic. The company also has preliminary plans for a new restaurant, retail space, spa and amphitheater. It is also considering an on-site hotel.
Along with enhancements, the company will rebrand the casino as Casino KC.
Jon Stephens, president and CEO of Port KC, said the redevelopment must seek approval from City Hall. He said Port KC supports reinvestment in the casino as a way to further boost the riverfront area.
In recent years, Port KC has added new apartments and recreational amenities along the southern edge of the Missouri River. The Berkley Riverfront Park between the Kit Bond Bridge and Heart of America Bridge on the south bank of the Missouri River includes a paved trail that terminates at the casino.
Created as a port authority by the Missouri Legislature, Port KC’s mission is to grow Kansas City’s economy through transportation, logistics and revitalization, including reestablishing waterborne commerce to the city.
“This is downtown’s casino, so to speak,” Stephens said in an interview. “And so if they’re willing to invest, we do think it helps to secure the long-term growth and availability of the greater riverfront.”
The Kansas City Streetcar Authority has considered an eventual expansion to the riverfront. Stephens said a stop near the casino could one day serve as a transportation hub, providing a place for riders to park their cars and hop on the streetcar to go downtown. Or, they could board a bus for Kansas City International Airport.