Polson Officials Approve Tribal Land Annexation, Casino to Be Separated from Resort
Polson, a city in Montana, is getting a new casino, and it will be situated on the west side of the city, near U.S. Highway 93. It is decided that the new 25,000-square-foot casino will be built after the Polson City Commission approved the annexation of 79 acres of land that belonged to the Tribes.
Separation of the casino and the resort:
The construction of the new casino will see Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes (CSKT) partner with S&K Gaming. The casino, currently placed at the KwaTaqNuk Resort, will be moved to a separate property.
Gaming machines, more than 300 of them, will be moved from KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino to the new place.
Dan Hansen, S&K Gaming Interim CEO, commented on the new casino, highlighting that it will be a modern building and become a primary casino in the whole city. He wants the casino to serve gambling purposes and the resort to become a family-friendly place where various types of events can be held.
He said: “Moving the casino we have now out of the resort allows the resort to focus on family-friendly things like the INFR rodeo and the Rockin’ the Dock series while moving the casino to the outskirts of town allows us to focus on the casino as a business. The resort will become much more smoke-free and be much more safe and a better kind of establishment. We’re really trying to focus on that.”
Citizens’ concerns and long journey:
However, the journey to the approval was long – after detailed research of traffic and environmental impact the casino might have on the city and delaying the final approval for over a year, the agreement was finally reached.
Previously, the meeting was scheduled for July 2022, but there wasn’t enough information provided for the final decision.
When the final day of the decision came, everyone was more than interested: at a meeting in the City Hall, all capacities were full, with 50 people present at the meeting and ten more waiting in the hallway. Not everybody was supportive, but in the end, the majority agreed upon the land annexation.
After the Commission’s discussion, 15 people from the public spoke, and many of them were concerned about the problems the casino could cause in traffic. Another concern was related to the potential harm the increased gambling can cause to the city, including the potential involvement in criminal activities and drugs.
The meeting lasted for more than two hours, and even though the decision was made, the citizens still had a chance to express their concerns about the project.
At a meeting, the casino was presented as only one part of a huge project, which will include a hotel, low-cost residential areas, an RV park, as well as a visitor center of the area.
The company hopes that the work on the project will begin in the spring of 2024.
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