🤑 JOLIET`S 1ST FLOATING CASINO DROPS ANCHOR - Chicago Tribune

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Investors in one of the most successful riverboat casino operations in Illinois are feuding over their hot new property in Northwest Indiana.


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I felt like a fish out of water aboard Harrah's floating casino on the Des Plaines River. was like, because Joliet's casinos are the biggest attraction along the Illinois Harrah's other boat in Joliet is Southern Star II, a modern version of a About three miles southwest of center city is Empress Casino, which.


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The Empress now has a twin, and two more riverboat casinos, the Joliet, and and eight other riverboat gambling towns in Illinois, now face.


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The Empress now has a twin, and two more riverboat casinos, the Joliet, and and eight other riverboat gambling towns in Illinois, now face.


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The Empress now has a twin, and two more riverboat casinos, the Joliet, and and eight other riverboat gambling towns in Illinois, now face.


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The Empress now has a twin, and two more riverboat casinos, the Joliet, and and eight other riverboat gambling towns in Illinois, now face.


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The Empress now has a twin, and two more riverboat casinos, the Joliet, and and eight other riverboat gambling towns in Illinois, now face.


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Investors in one of the most successful riverboat casino operations in Illinois are feuding over their hot new property in Northwest Indiana.


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More footage of the Empress Casino fire in Joliet, Illinois, on March 20th, More to come. Hotel & RV Park in Joliet | Hollywood Casino.


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Investors in one of the most successful riverboat casino operations in Illinois are feuding over their hot new property in Northwest Indiana.


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The 1,seat Paramount was built in as a premier movie palace of that era. The historic Paramount Arts Centre, about a block from the dock, also is expected to help attract visitors because it will feature big-name acts, according to Weidner of Pratt Hotels. According to Fisher, Joliet is considering splitting its gaming revenue between neighborhood infrastructure rehab and downtown rehab. The three-tier riverwalk will include the street level, a midlevel with shops and restaurants and lower level for walking and biking. They will cruise between two bridges on the Fox River that are a mile apart. In contrast to the modern flair of the Joliet riverboats, Aurora has opted for the lure of yesteryear. Several facilities, including an auto dealership and a fire station, will have to be relocated to make way for the boat basin, which will be cut into the shore at the three-square-block gambling boat site. Fisher stressed, though, that Joliet had planned to redevelop its downtown in , before Illinois approved riverboat gambling. A Chicago casino complex would saturate the market, because it would be the equivalent size of 20 riverboats. Several experts think the outlook is good, pointing to the Par-A-Dice, the 1,passenger sternwheeler that opened in Peoria last November and has exceeded expectations. Hungry gamblers will be catered to in the four-level, 64,square-foot docking pavilion on the tip of Stolp Island. But no matter what happens in Chicago, it appears suburban riverboat gambling is steaming full speed ahead. Looking as sleek as a yacht from a James Bond movie, the foot-long Empress began a limited cruise schedule last Wednesday after being approved by the Illinois Gaming Board. Spinoffs from the gambling-driven boom in tourism could benefit new restaurants, shops and hotels, and increase property values. And next June two identical gaming craft are scheduled to weigh anchor from downtown Aurora on the Fox River, 40 miles west of the Loop. Cruises will head down river three to four miles and will last two hours, though gaming begins a half-hour before departure and continues a half-hour after return. Aurora is considering giving a third of each dollar to the theater, owned by the Aurora Civic Center Authority; a third to the Riverwalk Commission; and a third to neighborhood programs. The Empress is sure to benefit from being first on the water. The Rivertowns Coalition has been formed to oppose the Chicago plan. Mayor Pierce of Aurora said that studies have shown that the Chicago area could support 8 to 10 riverboats. Aurora Ald. Key elements of the downtown resurgence will be increased use of the historic Rialto Square Theatre renovated in and new restaurants to be developed in the recently rehabbed Union Station. Gaming revenue is seen as a way to revitalize their old, tired downtowns. Mike Saville commented on the Chicago proposal: ''We feel the law allowing riverboat gambling was put in place to help the river towns. The foot-long craft will be built at the Garbe Iron Works in Aurora, and are scheduled to be completed by mid-June of , according to Hanson. The foot-long craft will be outfitted with slot machines and 25 gaming tables, and is scheduled to make six daily cruises when it gets underway next April. Another Joliet boat, this one to be docked downtown, is expected to be launched next spring. Larry Sak, president of the Joliet Region Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that 6 of 10 calls to his office recently have been inquiries about riverboat gambling. However, he acknowledged that the Chicago proposal put a temporary freeze on the Aurora project and was part of the reason for delaying its launching from this fall to next summer. Highway 6, southwest of downtown but within the city limits. The Empress River Casino Corp. Full operation will be inaugurated June 28, according to Sabo. Let the games begin-the games of chance. Because our riverboat will offer a different type of experience, we think it could co- exist with land-based casinos. Already millions of dollars have been committed to the construction of docking facilities and riverside improvements in both cities. We urge the legislature to oppose land-based casinos in Chicago and give the river towns a chance, as the law intended,'' she said. Also, revitalization of the city center could spread out to older neighborhoods. If it can play in Peoria, why not in Joliet and Aurora?{/INSERTKEYS}{/PARAGRAPH} Many buyers are coming from Du Page and southwest Cook County because of our good values. Certain to be ''winners'' every day are the new Empress employees. Weidner said Pratt might be interested in rehabbing the old Aurora Hotel, a vacant eight-story structure near the gaming center that is not included in the first phase of development. Paul Borek, executive director of the Aurora Economic Development Commission, anticipates that riverboat gambling will create to 1, new jobs in Aurora. The two river towns are hoping to hit the jackpot with riverboat gambling. {PARAGRAPH}{INSERTKEYS}It also raised the hopes of two suburbs: Joliet and Aurora.