Cordish Cos. is a partner in Kansas casino project
Contract for Hard Rock luxury hotel-gambling venue won 'ferocious' competition, Cordish says.
The Cordish Cos., the Baltimore-based development firm behind Power Plant Live! and several Inner Harbor projects, has won a contract with International Speedway Corp. to develop a $705 million casino in Kansas, the companies announced yesterday.
The 1.5 million-square-foot Hard Rock Hotel & Casino at Kansas Speedway will include a 300-room luxury hotel and full-fledged casino with 3,000 slot machines and 140 gaming tables, according to a statement from Kansas Entertainment, the joint venture between the two companies. The project was selected from among several competitors by the Kansas Lottery Gaming Facility Review Board.
International Speedway Corp., which owns Kansas Speedway, is a motor-sports promotion company and the operator of several major motor-sports venues around the country, including Daytona International Speedway in Florida.
The casino project is to have 275,000 square feet of retail, dining and entertainment space, including a live music venue, and meeting and convention space, according to the statement.
The project, expected to open in 2011, will be the fourth casino that Cordish Cos. has undertaken, said Chairman David Cordish. The others are in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., and Indianapolis, he said. "The competition was ferocious and very high-caliber," Cordish said. "Our partner is also a world-class company. ...We've had some big partners before, but none any more prestigious than these guys. They're a big deal." Other contenders for the deal were Sands, Pinnacle, Golden Gaming and Mohegan Sun, according to the statement.
"We are extremely pleased that the Review Board has chosen our Hard Rock Hotel & Casino as the preferred project," International Speedway President Lesa France Kennedy said in the statement. "They recognized that our proposal will drive the most tourism and provide the greatest economic benefit to the state and local community."
Although the full casino is not scheduled to open until 2011, the companies said they plan to open an early phase next year with about 2,000 slot machines and 75 gaming tables
Also included in the proposal was International Speedway's plan to petition NASCAR to have a second Sprint Cup Series race at Kansas Speedway by 2011.