Sunday, Bruce Christenson, lead investor for the proposed Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel announced programs and partnerships that have become part of the Kansas Crossing Casino’s project proposal. “Our experience tells us that local partnerships drive even more positive economic impact in the communities where we operate. I’m proud to say that our partnerships in Southeast Kansas will help continue to deliver on our proven track record as an outstanding community partner. The signed agreements with Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center, Pittsburg State University, and Crawford County CVB represent our commitment to workforce development, education, economic development and tourism in Southeast Kansas,” Christenson said. “By committing more than $4.5 million to these outstanding organizations, if approved, Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel will be on track to provide the best possible outcome for the local economy.”
Partnership with Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center
The agreement with Southeast Kansas Career and Technical Education Center provides 1% of the proposed casino’s gaming revenue share (at least $400,000 annually for 10 years) to pay students’ fees, supplies and build skilled trade classrooms. The Tech Center is a public private partnership which offers welding, masonry and construction certification to high school and non-traditional students. Kansas Crossing Casino’s distributions would allow programs like CNA Certification, Culinary Arts and more to be offered. “Our partnership with Kansas Crossing would open all kinds of doors for individuals throughout Southeast Kansas,” Destry Brown, Board President of SEKS Career and Technical Education Center Said. “Kansas Crossing’s partnership will help us serve even more students, underemployed and unemployed individuals. It will remove barriers and allow many more individuals to become certified in a skilled trade. It will have a lasting positive impact on workforce development and education in Southeast Kansas.”
Partnership with Pittsburg State University
The agreement with Pittsburg State University calls for an annual plan for Kansas Crossing to provide $50,000 to co-market cultural and other events at the University. The partnership term would be for ten years and allows flexibility for the partners to use the money to attract more visitors, make arts and cultural events more accessible to residents and more. In addition to the cash commitment to Pittsburg State University, Kansas Crossing would provide other resources including a work group of leadership from the casino to help make the most of each year’s plan. “We are in the midst of an exciting economic and cultural renaissance in the Pittsburg area. Essential to our growth are community partners committed to the economic vitality of the region and improving the overall quality of life for our residents,” Shawn Naccarato, Director of Government and Community Relations, Pittsburg State University said. “Partnership with Kansas Crossing will support our efforts to provide high level cultural events and generate tourism to our region. In addition to their support for increased cultural offerings and tourism, the Kansas Crossing development would provide increased hotel capacity, which is essential to our continued regional economic development.”
Partnership with Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau
Kansas Crossing has also made a commitment to market group travel in partnership with the Crawford County Convention and Visitors Bureau. If Kansas Crossing is lucky enough to win the Southeast Kansas bid to operate a casino in Pittsburg, it will be another compelling attraction for the area. Kansas Crossing plans to fund annual sales plans to build relationships with group travel planners and to co-market other attractions and amenities in Southeast Kansas. “Our Board of Directors recognizes that a casino project here will allow us the opportunity – our first chance—to be a viable contender and to win group travel to our area,” BJ Harris, Executive Director, Crawford County CVB said. “If Kansas Crossing wins the bid, they have committed to developing group travel which is an entire segment of tourism we will absolutely grow!”
Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel is one of three proposed projects bidding for the Southeast Kansas casino license. Kansas Crossing Casino and Hotel and their local partners’ plans will have a dramatic, positive impact on the local economy if Kansas Crossing wins the bid. The regulatory process continues next week with contract approvals in Topeka on April 15. Then, on April 22 at 9 AM, the Review Board will meet in Pittsburg to hear from Pittsburg and Frontenac residents about the proposed casino projects in Crawford County. The winning casino project is expected to be announced on June 23, 2015.