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Would-be Cedar Rapids casinos make pitches

ALTOONA — Key institutions in Cedar Rapids, including city leadership, lobbied on behalf of investors pitching two options for a downtown casino during a presentation Thursday to state gambling regulators.

City Manager Jeff Pomeranz spoke in favor of two options proposed by a venture between Peninsula Pacific Partnership and Cedar Rapids Development Group, calling them a “wonderful fit for the city.”

Cedar Crossing Central is a $106 million skydeck casino over the Fourth Street NE railroad tracks and attached to the DoubleTree Hotel, U.S. Cellular Center and a new parking ramp. The larger $169 million Cedar Crossing on the River would go just west of downtown at First Street and First Avenue SW.

However, Pomeranz responded “yes” to whether the city would welcome a third proposal by a competing group, the $42 million Wild Rose Cedar Rapids across from the DoubleTree, if the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission granted that group a gambling license instead.

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