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Bally’s to break ground on $40M transformation of former Isle of Capri this summer



he new owners of Casino KC, formerly known as Isle of Capri, plan to break ground on the first phase of its $40 million redevelopment this summer in Kansas City, Missouri.

Bally’s Corp., formerly known as Twin River Worldwide Holdings Inc., said up first is a reskinning of the casino’s riverboat-themed exterior to replace it with modernized color-changing angled panels and a 35,596-square-foot retail and dining frontal addition, to be completed over about a year of construction, as reported by Kansas City Business Journal.

On Tuesday, the Kansas City Plan Commission recommended approval of a request to rezone the 28.54-acre casino site off Front Street to a master planned development district, subject to 38 conditions. Paul Juliano, Vice President of Operations at Bally’s Corp., said during the commission meeting that as a gaming property, Casino KC “means a lot” to Bally’s as it continues its metamorphosis after its July acquisition of the casino and the Lady Luck Casino in Vicksburg, Mississippi, for $230 million from previous owner Eldorado Resorts.

A permit application filed March 16 with the Federal Aviation Administration, in connection with the 45-foot-tall casino addition, lists a work schedule running from June 1 to Dec. 1, 2022.

A second phase of development, to include a seven-story, 150-room hotel and a 3,000-seat amphitheater, could follow on an as-yet undetermined time frame, as could an expansion of the existing parking garage to double its 609 spaces. Factoring in 162 new parking spaces added to the casino’s 834-space western surface lot, the property would expand to 1,946 total spaces, up from 1,175. Visitation to the renovated Casino KC could see a future boost from a speculative streetcar stop and terminus just north of the site’s parking lot, Bally’s representatives said.

Casino KC consists of 39,788 square feet of casino space, with 848 slot machines, 17 table games, two dining venues and a bar. Bally’s soon could announce partners for two main restaurants in the building’s new commercial addition, Juliano said. He cited opportunities for Bally’s to open company-branded retail, such as for sports betting or gift shop operations, within the addition, though a precise mixture has not yet been determined.

“The property’s been here for 25 years, and we look forward to being here and building something for the next 25 years,” casino General Manager Michael Donovan said during the meeting.

The most recent Missouri Gaming Commission figures show that in February, Casino KC had 128,300 visitors and total adjusted gross revenue of $6.37 million — both the smallest among the four casinos on the Missouri side of the metro area.

Bally’s indicated in February and March filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it expects to invest approximately $40 million in the project. The number represents a departure from what July documents from the Port Authority of Kansas City indicated was a $61 million redevelopment effort. 

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