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Fonner Park Announces Casino Operator


 

 

(Grand Island, NE) Elite Casino Resorts, of Riverside, IA has been selected casino partner for
Fonner Park after a thorough vetting process. Following the passage of three referendums to
legalize casino gaming in Nebraska, Fonner Park established a Selection Process to choose a
Casino Operator for Fonner Park. Fonner Park issued a Request for Proposals on November 6,
2020, received many phone calls about the project and received nine responses to the request.
Fonner Park met with eight of the operators in person. In January, Fonner Park selected three
finalists for further review. The selection committee had 3 main Criteria for selecting the
operator; 1.) The Operator’s ability to effectively construct & manage a casino; 2.) The terms of
the Financial Arrangement; and finally, 3.) Fonner Park wanted an operator who would embrace
Fonner Park’s Mission. An eleven-person committee was established to assess the casino
proposals.
“I had an image in my mind, both architecturally, operationally and a mindset of what I thought
would be a good fit for Fonner Park and Grand Island. Elite Casino Resorts quickly rose to
the top among our impressive list of candidates,” said Chris Kotulak, Fonner Park CEO. “In
the end, we were won over by the organic characteristic hospitality that Elite Casinos and their
CEO Dan Kehl brings to the table. The Elite Casino Resorts team has a history of taking care of
their employees and being involved in the communities in which they operate. They reinvest in
their properties and take pride in the services they deliver to their guests. We could not ask for
a better Operator or a better Partner for our Community. And finally, the Elite Casino Resorts
facilities and amenities are world class! This is the partner we want for our community.”

 

The casino development will be a $100 Million Resort with 650 slot machines with the ability to
increase up to 850 slot machines, 20 table games, a Sportsbook and Show Lounge on the gaming
floor. A 116-room boutique hotel with an indoor and outdoor pool, and full-service spa and
salon. Multiple dining choices including Elite’s signature Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood fine dining
restaurant, a sports bar and grill, family dining and a grab and go restaurant.
Dan Kehl, Chief Executive Officer of Elite Casino Resorts is excited about the partnership, “We
are honored to be chosen to partner with Fonner Park and to join the Grand Island community.
The opportunity to help grow the horseracing and agricultural industry in central Nebraska and
Fonner Park is exciting. The location and size of Fonner Park and the Grand Island community
fits wells in our long-term plan to grow our company. We can’t wait to open the Grand Island
Casino Resort at Fonner Park and showcase the quality of our signature Elite amenities we are
known for in the communities in which we operate. We are thrilled to be part of the Grand
Island community and for Fonner Park to be part of our Elite family.”

 

 

 

 


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