Breaking Travel News

Group Present Plans for Destination Resort Hotel

A world-class destination hotel and casino in Bonner Springs, adjacent to
the Kansas Speedway, could generate more than $300 million in annual
revenue and more than $11 million in tax revenue each year for local
government Fred Gillmann, Chief Executive Officer of The Gillmann Group,
told the Bonner Springs City Council here tonight. The hotel/casino also
would contribute more than $28 million of gaming revenue to the State of
Kansas. A feasibility study prepared by KlasRobinson Q.E.D., one of the
country’s foremost specialists in comprehensive market research for
hospitality and casino projects, indicated substantial opportunity exists
and generated the revenue projections for such a first-class development
project. The Gillmann Group, which last week finalized the purchase of a 78.4-acre
land parcel along Speedway Blvd. in Bonner Springs, south of State Avenue,
is proposing to develop and manage a $225 million destination resort hotel
and casino for the Delaware Tribe, who were early founders of the city.

“Our project is fully financed and with the land purchase in place, the
Delaware Tribe is filing a trust application with the Bureau of Indian
Affairs and intends to open compact negotiations with Governor Kathleen
Sebelius’ office,” Gillmann said.

Gillmann told the Council his company and the Delaware Tribe will build a
world-class destination resort comparable to Las Vegas hotel/casinos. In
the first phase, the property would include a 15-story hotel tower with
250 upscale rooms and suites, a 148,500 square-foot casino with 3,000 slot
machines, 90 table games and a 750-seat bingo parlor. The resort will
include an upscale steakhouse, a 24-hour restaurant, a buffet, a food
court with five venues, sports bar/deli/barbeque combined with a cabaret,
and three free- standing bar areas. The convention facility will provide
70,000 square feet to include a 2,700-seat showroom along with meeting and
board rooms. Parking facilities will include 1,000 covered parking spaces
and 2,400 open parking spaces, together with 10 acres of oversized vehicle
parking. The resort will also offer a health club, pool and other
amenities. The master plan includes three phases, and Gillmann estimates
construction for phase one will take 18 to 24 months to complete after the
land is put into trust.

Gillmann said his company and the Delaware Tribe will work with the
community to design the property. Gillmann also said that economic impact
studies show the hotel/casino will provide approximately 2,000 new jobs
with a payroll projected to be over $60 million annually for the region
and, in addition to the tax revenue, will generate over $100 million in
direct operating costs being expended in the surrounding communities.

In an earlier statement, John Hunt, attorney for the Delaware Tribe said,
“The Delaware Tribe looks forward to coming back to our last reservation
land and becoming part of the community. Community excitement for this
project will be such a dizzying experience that we can hardly wait to get
started. This is a genuine shot in the arm for Bonner Springs and
Wyandotte County in terms of full-time employment, tax dollars, and
revenue growth. It’s like dropping a General Motors or General Electric
plant into this community in terms of job creation.”


Unified Government officials are aware of the project and are cooperating
with the city and the Delaware Tribe. “We look forward to working with the
Unified Government to make this project a reality,” said Bonner Springs
Mayor Clausie Smith.

“I also want to thank Chief Joe Brooks and the Delaware Tribe for
selecting our community as the site of its destination resort hotel and
casino. It certainly is fitting that Bonner Springs could become the home
of this project because the Delaware Tribe were some of the early settlers
of our community. Henry Tiblow, the founder of Bonner Springs, was a
Delaware Indian and we feel honored to welcome the tribe home,” the Mayor
said. Tiblow was educated at the Shawnee Mission and served as a
translator for the Delaware and Wyandotte in the 1840’s.

The Delaware Tribe, originally named the Lenni Lenape, is headquartered in
Bartlesville, Okla. It includes more than 10,000 members who reside in
Oklahoma and Kansas as well as California and Texas; at its peak, the
tribe had nearly 20,000 members. The Delaware were among the first tribes
to come in contact with Europeans in the 17th Century and to sign a treaty
with the United States in 1778. Originally located along the Delaware
River, the tribe was relocated westward beginning in 1829 and was pushed
through Ohio, Missouri, Indiana, Kansas and finally to Oklahoma (Indian
Country) in 1867. Promised a distinct reservation of its own in Indian
Territory, the Delaware Tribe moved onto land purchased from the Cherokee
Nation. Following their removal, the Delaware Tribe continued to operate
their own tribal government and social and religious functions. Despite
their agreements, there arose some controversy with the Cherokee Nation,
which has continued to be litigated from time to time and which has,
unfortunately, left the Delaware Tribe a landless tribe. However, the
designation as a landless tribe contributes greatly to the ability of the
Delaware Tribe to return to that area which was their last former
reservation and seek property to be placed into trust for the purpose of
gaming. In 1996, the Delaware regained their federal recognition from the
Bureau of Indian Affairs, a status confirmed by a recent federal district
court decision. Currently, the tribe is nearing completion of a child-care
center in Caney, Kansas and it operates child-care facilities in Nowata
and Chelsea, both in Oklahoma.

The Gillmann Group, headquartered in Las Vegas, Nev., specializes in the
development, financing, construction, and management of tribal gaming
enterprises. Founded in 1989, the company’s growth coincided with the
expansion of Indian gaming in the 1990’s. The company’s recent development
projects include the Laguna Development Corporation’s Dancing Eagle Casino
and Route 66 Casino, a 168,000 square foot facility, both west of
Albuquerque, N.M. Past projects include the early phases of The Barona
Casino in San Diego, Calif. The Pauite Palace, the Bishop Pauite Tribe in
Bishop, Calif., Susanville Indian Rancheria in Susanville, Calif.; and the
Robinson Rancheria Casino and the Table Mountain Casino, both in Northern