Plans collapse for Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Kansas Speedway
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December 9, 2008
KANSAS CITY, KS – The partners to build the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Kansas
Speedway suddenly withdrew their application a few hours before the Kansas
Racing and Gaming Commission gave final approval. The casino partners
International Speedway Corp. and the Cordish Co. said it had become "prudent and
necessary" to withdraw their $705 million application.
The announcement qualifies the Hard Rock partnership to recover its $25 million
application fee since it preceded the commission's final approval. Otherwise,
the fee would have become nonrefundable.
"Hard Rock's withdrawal is another unfortunate result of the worldwide crisis
that has plagued the financial markets and hit the gaming industry especially
hard," said Kansas Lottery director Ed Van Petten.
The Hard Rock partnership, Kansas Entertainment LLC, said it remains interested
in building a casino at the Kansas Speedway, and will submit a new application
for a phased project when the state reopens bidding.
"It is absolutely our intention to reapply for a license in the northeast zone,"
said Kansas Entertainment President Joe Weinberg. "We have a lot of emotion and
energy invested in this project."
Weinberg said in a letter to the Kansas Lottery, "Kansas Entertainment remains
in a strong financial position, and is prepared immediately to commence
development" of a $400 million Hard Rock casino. However, "in the three months
since the decision of the Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board, there has been
an unprecedented crisis and disruption in the global financial and economic
"Economic conditions necessitate that we have the flexibility potentially to
phase in at a later date the construction of the non-gaming retail and hotel
amenities of the project . in the event financial markets do not recover in the
Weinberg said the first phase of the new development plan would include a $400
million building with the same gambling floor, 3,000 slots, 140 table games, and
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