Will The Kansas Star Casino Hurt The Kansas Pavilions?

By: Alicia Myers Email
By: Alicia Myers Email

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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The future of the Kansas Pavilions and Coliseum remains in limbo.

County Commissioners weighed-in Tuesday on options of whether or not the site should be kept and maintained, or sold.

Since 1977, the Kansas Pavilions provided Sedgwick County a space for a number of events, including rodeos, equestrian, livestock and dog shows, concerts and more.

"It is good property, it's along the interstate, it has some value over the next 40 or 50 years for growth," said Tim Norton, Sedgwick County Commissioner.

That is just one reason the county is looking at options for the space, one that continues to lose events to other facilities.

"We need to do something with it, because there's money there, and it could be an asset to another person, and certainly funds for the county," said Jim Skelton, Sedgwick County Commissioner.

Plus, with the addition of the Kansas Star Casino's equestrian and event center, decisions may need to be made sooner, rather than later.

"I worry that there's going to be competition down south with the casino, that will have an equestrian show center, and paddocks and RV park and everything that will almost mirror on the private side, with a lot more money behind it," said Norton.

Not only will the casino provide money, but it will provide opportunities the Pavilions doesn't offer.

"It's really being built for participants, so we can get people here from further distances, bring them here to Kansas, and give them a good time," said Scott Cooper, Kansas Star Casino General Manager.

In the next few years, the casino may have people traveling south of Wichita, instead of north to the Kansas Pavilions.

The Kansas Star Casino's equestrian and event venue is set to open in 2014 or 2015. It will be built on 24 acres, with 4,900 seats.

The Kansas Pavilions will add new restrooms with showers by the end of the year, making the area better in the short run for current users.


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