Terre Haute Convention Center and the Casino Projects Both On Hold Pending Investigations and Mismanagement.


The Terre Haute Convention Center is still dead.

The Terre Haute Casino is still dead.

No public outrage. No apologies. The Mayor, the City Council, the County Council, the Capital Improvement Board, the Chamber of Commerce are waiting silently for EMS/firefighters to arrive and begin CPR.

Picture
Mayor Bennett, and the City/County Leaders Breaking Ground on the Terre Haute Convention Center Sept. 6th 2019

Parking lots have been purchased. $2.4 million dollars has been paid out in Convention Center bills and the project still has nowhere to go, no plan in place.

https://www.tribstar.com/news/local_news/cib-buys-two-lots-for-convention-center-parking/article_93ab167d-aaff-570f-b518-284c6790e271.html

The Convention Center is on hold until the “they” can figure out how to build a second parking garage to replace the parking lot being removed from the Downtown Hilton Garden Inn.

https://terrehautenews.net/2020/01/21/50-million-dollar-convention-center-project-on-the-verge-of-collapse/

Steve Witt, Executive Director Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment.

https://terrehautenews.net/2020/01/15/convention-center-nightmare-pleads-for-leadership-executive-director-says-if-you-want-an-ugly-building-instead-then-we-just-wont-build-the-convention-center/

The Hope is that the Vigo County School Corp. will sell their downtown Administration Building and then that building can be bulldozed and turned into a parking lot. The Terre Haute City Council would need to change downtown zoning ordinances that prohibit parking lots along Wabash Ave.

https://terrehautenews.net/2020/01/16/convention-center-things-have-changed-must-bulldoze-vigo-school-admin-building-or-project-is-doomed/

The benefit of this public/private partnership is that money can be spent, profits can be made, risk is spread to a large  tax payer base. Private sector business may have a difficult time competing with subsidized meeting room spaces, but that is of minor concern as long as no entity is permitted to book less than a 400 person occupancy in order to prevent a government funded convention hall from cannibalizing the private business owner venues in the Terre Haute.

Another small issue is who is going to own what and be responsible for what.  Officials in Terre Haute/Vigo County have yet to define this clearly. Local income taxes, redevelopment funds, food and beverage taxes, increase property taxes, and bonds will all be used to keep the project afloat

According to Steve Witt, the Executive Director of the Terre Haute Department of Redevelopment and a member of Capital Improvement Board it is “still being discussed who will actually own and operate the parking garage.” The only thing decided is that taxpayers are paying for it.

CASINO CASINO CASINO

What about the Casino? That is the second engine of growth in Terre Haute. Strategically planned and aligned to work hand in hand in pocket with the Convention Center.

Rocksino Currently Waiting Approval from Indiana Gaming Commission after Investor implicated in Federal Investigation

It is DEAD right now also. Waiting on enough money and politics to get the Indiana Gaming Commission to turn its back on a Federal Court Case that implicates Greg Gibson’s business partner and part owner of Spectacle Entertainment in illegal campaign contributions.

https://terrehautenews.net/2020/01/27/terre-haute-casino-spectacle-entertainment-vice-president-and-general-council-identified-in-federal-corruption-case/

The Casino would have already begun construction if a guilty plea hadn’t surfaced out of Federal Court in Virginia, of which nobody cares about back in Indiana.

Brad Anderson, Commissioner, said he doesn’t think it has anything to do with our casino.

Sen. Jon Ford said he doesn’t think it’s a negative thing.

Terre Haute Mayor Bennett called it a speed bump that he hopes the local partners can work out.

One unsubstantiated rumor is that Full House Resorts spurred the investigation after being blocked from building a Casino in Terre Haute back in 2017.

https://terrehautenews.net/2019/11/15/terre-haute-casino-winners-and-losers-to-be-decided-soon/

Full House did not compete for the Terre Haute Gambling License in 2019. Some speculating that the rules created potentially gave preferential treatment to local landowners. The ties to the Capital Improvement Board and Chamber of Commerce as well as questionable relationships with Indiana politicians on the payroll of Spectacle have been widely reported in Indianapolis based news outlets and spurred legislative action to try limit the influence of casino operators.

Image result for brian bosma casino
Indiana Speaker of House, Hired by Greg Gibson to be the Attorney for the Capital Improvement Board. Gibson was a board member of the CIB and is now the principle investor in Spectacle Entertainment, the beneficiary of Indiana’s April 2019 Sweeping Gambling Legislation allowing an inland casino in Gary and Terre Haute.

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2019/03/28/indiana-casino-boss-treated-gov-eric-holcomb-to-private-flights/3166074002/

https://www.indystar.com/story/news/politics/2019/04/18/local-mayors-gaming-interests-do-not-have-unequal-access/3509144002/

Full House had plans to develop a Casino along the Wabash River. It would have included a hotel, several bars and restaurants, and would bring visitors closer to downtown business and revitalize a portion of the city that has been stagnate for decades. Full House is the owner the Rising Star Casino in Rising Sun, IN. It’s newest casino is planned for WAUKEGAN, ILLINOIS.

03_Aerial View_02.jpg
Full House Newest Casino Planned for Waukegan, IL.

https://www.americanplace.us/

See You In Terre Haute

One comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s