Developer, Tribe Files for Kansas Land

18 October 2004

BONNER SPRINGS, Kansas – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Officials of The Gillmann Group and the Delaware Tribe today announced they are filing a land into trust application this week with the Bureau of Indian Affairs seeking to have 80 acres along Speedway Blvd., south of State Ave. in Bonner Springs, Kan., placed into trust for the tribe for the purpose of gaming. The land previously was part of the now landless Delaware Tribe's last reservation.

The Gillmann Group, a Las Vegas-based developer/manager of casino resort projects, and the Delaware Tribe have proposed to build a $250 million destination resort hotel and casino in Bonner Springs adjacent to the Kansas Speedway. The Gillmann Group negotiated the purchase of the 80-acre parcel in March and already has the financing in place to complete the first phase of a three-phase master plan for the project.

"We have committed to purchase the land and the financing is complete. This is a straightforward application by a landless tribe seeking to take land from its last reservation for the purpose of gaming and falls within current BIA guidelines and the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. It will not require special legislation or Congressional modification of existing rules and policies, unlike plans that have been submitted by other tribes which have existing casinos on existing reservations," said Fred Gillmann, president and ceo of The Gillmann Group.

"Placing the land into trust for the Delaware tribe by the BIA is one of the elements in the approval process to build the resort casino. We also are looking forward to negotiating a compact with Governor Kathleen Sebelius and the State of Kansas," he added.

Gillmann said the land into trust application process with the BIA could take four to eight months and during that time, his company and the Delaware Tribe will seek to negotiate the compact with the Governor.

In the first phase, the proposed destination resort hotel/casino will include a 15-story hotel tower with 250 upscale rooms and suites, a 148,500-square-foot casino, 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 and a food court with five venues: a sports bar, a deli and barbecue facility combined with a cabaret and three, free standing bars.

An entertainment, special events and convention facility encompassing 70,000 square feet will include a 2,700-seat theatre/showroom, meeting rooms, banquet rooms and a boardroom. Parking facilities will include 1,000 covered spaces, 2,400 open spaces and 10 acres of oversized vehicle parking. The resort also will have a health club and pool as well as a 30,000 square-foot automobile museum for racing fans.

"It is certainly good news that The Gillmann Group and the Delaware Nation are continuing their efforts to develop this world-class destination resort and casino in Bonner Springs," said Mayor Clausie Smith. "They have an excellent plan and we are looking forward to approval of the land into trust application by the BIA for the tribe. We think this is a win-win situation for everyone and will be a tremendous economic opportunity for Bonner Springs and the entire state of Kansas."

A recent feasibility study prepared by KlasRobinson Q.E.D., one of the country's foremost specialists in comprehensive market research for hospitality and casino projects, said the Delaware/Gillmann project would generate more than $270 million in annual gaming revenue in its first full year of operation. It also would be the first Kansas tribal resort/casino that would contribute revenue to the state of Kansas and to local governments. The Delaware tribe is proposing to share more than $41 million in the first year with state and local governments, with the state receiving more than $30 million that first year and local governments over $11 million. The resort/casino will provide over 2,000 new full-time jobs with a projected payroll of over $62 million annually. In addition, the facility will generate over $100 million in other annual local spending according to the KlasRobinson study.

Gillmann previously announced that of the $250 million total project costs of phase one, $100 million would be for construction payroll and that union labor will complete all work.

That aspect of the project brought the support in June of the Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades Council and its top executive Garry Kemp.

"The Greater Kansas City Building and Construction Trades Council and affiliated unions are delighted and supportive of efforts of the Delaware Tribe to bring a first-class destination gaming facility to Wyandotte County. The facility will bring needed revenue to local and state government, quality jobs for area residents and further establish Wyandotte County as a destination for the Midwest," Kemp said.

Jeff Boerger, president of Kansas Speedway, echoed that statement.

"It will create capital investment and jobs for Wyandotte County and will attract more tourists to the area. Kansas Speedway supports that kind of economic development and growth," Boerger said.

The land into trust application was started in May and includes an in-depth environmental impact study, economic impact studies, a detailed business plan including projected revenues, expenses and revenue distribution as well as employment projections. The application also includes extensive land surveys, appraisals, site plans and traffic studies along with details of the land and project development.

Gillmann said it could take 18 to 24 months to complete design and construction of the project after all approvals have been received.

The Delaware Tribe, headquartered in Bartlesville, Okla., includes more than 13,500 members who reside in Kansas, Oklahoma, California and Texas. Originally located near the Delaware River, the tribe was pushed westward beginning in 1732. It settled in Kansas in 1840 and Henry Tiblow, the founder of Bonner Springs, was a Delaware Indian. In 1867, the tribe was forced to re-locate to Oklahoma (Indian Territory) and promised a distinct reservation of its own. Controversies with the Cherokee Nation in Oklahoma led to the Delaware becoming a landless tribe. That designation plays a key role in its ability to now return to its last reservation and seek property to be placed into trust for the purpose of gaming under provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and current BIA guidelines. In 1996, the Delaware regained federal recognition from the Bureau of Indian Affairs, a status confirmed by a recent federal district court decision.

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 developments include the Laguna Pueblo's Dancing Eagle, Laguna Express and Route 66 Casinos west of Albuquerque, NM. Past projects include the early phases of The Barona Casino in San Diego, Calif.; The Paiute Palace, The Bishop Paiute Tribe in Bishop, Calif.; Susanville Indian Rancheria in Susanville, Calif., and the Robinson Rancheria and Table Mountain Casinos in Northern California.


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