Grand Falls Casino Ownership To Change

Larchwood, Iowa — The ownership of Grand Falls Casino & Resort near Larchwood and its sister casinos in Riverside and Davenport will be consolidated into one company, led by casino developer Dan Kehl.
slot machines and car grand falls
The Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission approved a move Thursday, June 4th to allow the consolidation of three casinos under the management of one company. The Riverside Casino, The Grand Falls casino at Larchwood and the Rhythm City Casino in Davenport are now all part of the company called Elite Casino Resorts. Dan Kehl already managed the properties individually and says the combined management has several advantages.

(as he says)”Most importantly economies of scale and cross-marketing among the three properties. It also provides a lot of opportunities for us in terms of operating efficiencies and costs save on financing for new construction of the new casino,” Kehl says.

The company is building a new land-based casino in Davenport to replace the riverboat there. He doesn’t expect the corporate change to lead to any changes in the number of employees.

(as he says)”Property level management will remain the same,” Kehl says. “Each property will be individually managed with the same amount of employees we currently have. I don’t expect to hire any more people on the corporate level at this point.”

Kehl says they expect to see savings in the things they buy for the day-to-day operations.

(as he says)”One is food purchases, insurance, general corporate overhead. Those are some expenses that we’ll definitely be able to save,” Kehl explains. “Just as important — it creates a company that gives a lot stability for all three properties. So if one property falters or has issues in their market, the other two properties will be able to keep that one shored up.”

Kehl left the Racing and Gaming Commission meeting in Sioux City Thursday to drive across the state for the groundbreaking at the site of the Davenport land-based casino that’s at the intersection of Interstate 80 and Interstate 74.

(as he says)”We have a 12-month construction schedule, and we anticipate being open by Memorial Day of next year,” Kehl says.

He says the new location has several advantages over the riverboat.

(as he says) Kehl says being out on the interstate provides more visibility and should help increase the gaming revenue.

Kehl says Elite Casino Resorts employs more than 15-hundred people and generates more than 225 million dollars in revenue each year — making it the second largest gaming company in the state.

Grand Falls, the casino near Larchwood, had been owned by more than 450 Iowa residents, according to their website.

Kehl says the new company is also solely owned by Iowans. The Kehl family have been pioneers in the Iowa gaming industry and were the first to get an Iowa riverboat license in 1990.

We tried to get a hold of Grand Falls General Manager Sharon Haselhoff to ask what the move means for northwest Iowa investors and casino customers, but our calls were not returned.

Radio Iowa assisted with this story.

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