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Kansas Star plans to open part of permanent casino next week

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, at 7:29 p.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, July 10, 2013, at 9:44 a.m.

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Officials at the Kansas Star Casino said Tuesday that part of its permanent casino will open Dec. 12 as it transitions gaming operations from temporary quarters.

Casino officials said in a news release that opening a portion of the permanent casino will minimize the number of days the casino will have to be closed.

“It’s a necessary part of the transition into our … new casino,” Kansas Star general manager Scott Cooper said in the release.

The Mulvane casino will be open through midnight Dec. 9, close Dec. 10 and 11, then reopen at 8 a.m. Dec. 12 in a portion of the permanent casino.

Three of Kansas Star’s five restaurants will also open on that day.

In mid-October, officials opened the 150-room Hampton Inn and Suites Mulvane/Kansas Star Casino.

All of the permanent casino will open Dec. 21 with 1,829 slot machines, 45 table games and 10 table poker rooms, said Kansas Star Casino spokeswoman Megan Strader.

That’s up from about 1,400 slot machines and 35 table games in operation today.

With the additions, “we become more of a regional destination,” Strader said. “Our hotel is open; we’ll have restaurants. It will be a complete package if they want to spend a little more time here.”

The ability for customers to stay longer will benefit south-central Kansas, she said.

The permanent casino is the last major component to open at the Kansas Star, which began operations last December in temporary space. That space will become an arena designed for concerts, sporting events, trade shows and equestrian and other events.

Remodeling for the arena is expected to begin next summer and will take about six months, Strader said.

The arena will have 3,500 fixed seats. Adding chairs on the floor for concerts will increase seating to about 5,000, she said.

Plans also include an outdoor equestrian center with arenas and more than 600 stalls. It is expected to be ready for the 2015 season, Strader said.

The casino has been well attended, she said.

“We’ve been incredibly pleased with the number of guests that we have,” Strader said. “We’ve had a good year.”

During the first 10 months of 2012, the arena recorded $159 million in revenue, according to the Kansas Lottery Commission. That includes $14.8 million in revenue in October.

Total cost for the casino will be $325 million, based on its agreement with the state of Kansas, Strader said.

The casino is owned by Boyd Gaming, based in Las Vegas.

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