Peninsula Gaming has begun site preparation on its $260 million Kansas Star casino at the Mulvane turnpike exit in Sumner County.
Crews are building access roads to bring in equipment and materials, said Charles Warren, construction manager for the project.
They also are putting in a trailer compound that will serve as offices for engineers and subcontractors, and building a staging area.
Work will begin in mid-March on the foundation for the building that eventually will become an equestrian/events center, Warren said.
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The building will house Kansas Star's interim casino until a permanent casino is built. The interim casino is scheduled to open next February.
The permanent casino and a 150-room hotel are scheduled to be completed in January 2013.
Peninsula plans to expand the facility again in January 2015 with an additional 150 hotel rooms and additional gaming facilities.
When completed, the Kansas Star is expected to span 170 acres and include a 100,000-square-foot indoor equestrian/events arena, retail shops and an RV park.
Scott Cooper, general manager of the Kansas Star, said Peninsula has spent $10 million preparing to break ground on construction in addition to the $25 million license fee it paid to the state.
A state casino review board selected the Iowa-based company's Kansas Star proposal in December over a plan for a Wellington casino submitted by Global Gaming of Oklahoma.
Peninsula doesn't yet have a building permit for the Kansas Star. The Mulvane planning commission last weekend approved a planned unit development laying out a detailed footprint for the project.
The Mulvane City Council has to approve it before a building permit can be issued. The council is expected to consider the planned unit development at its March 7 meeting.
Kansas House Speaker Mike O'Neal last week questioned the validity of the casino's contract and said he and other lawmakers want the attorney general to see whether it can be challenged in court.