I attended the meeting in Steamboat where the proposed Hayden casino was discussed and I came away with the feeling that the Sleeping Giant Group is driven more by potential profits to be made from off-casino ventures than its desire to better serve the Routt County community.
As a follow-up to the meeting, I recently contacted Sleeping Giant Group and received a response from one of its principle partners, who confirmed that Question 13 under “Frequently asked questions” on the group’s website accurately spells out the intent: “It is anticipated that additional development will occur at or very nearby the casino site, including an entertainment venue large enough to attract world-class acts and shows, multiple food service venues, and a 200-room hotel, along with indoor and covered parking.
“These venues will provide opportunities for locally based investment and ownership, and will produce tax revenue for local and county governments through property taxes, sales taxes and other legislated taxes and fees.”
The response I got from Sleeping Giant Group indicated it will manage those development opportunities.
At the meeting we were told that only about 40 acres of the approximately 150 available would be used directly for the casino. It seems to me that the stated Sleeping Giant Group development opportunities offer a potential cash windfall to Sleeping Giant Group and that these opportunities would directly compete with other businesses in nearby communities, further diluting their gross incomes. How is this a benefit to our community?