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Horseshoe to bring casino ashore

Harrison County’s casino appears to be coming ashore.
Caesars Riverboat Casino, doing business in Bridgeport in southern Harrison County as Horseshoe Southern Indiana, received unanimous approval Thursday night from the county’s Advisory Plan Commission to amend its planned unit development in order to move its gaming facility from its dockside boat to a land-based structure.
Brad Schrage of Structurepoint in Indianapolis, who made the presentation, said the request would allow for an 81,000-square-foot expansion.
‘So all the slots would be on land?’ asked Harold Klinstiver.
‘That’s correct,’ Schrage said.
When asked if the number of gaming devices would remain the same, Schrage, after checking with Brad Seigel, senior vice president and general manager, who was in attendance, replied, ‘I’m being told the number would be the same or similar.’
Regarding the entrance to the casino, Schrage said, ‘Access to the site would be mostly the same.’
However, he added, the company is working with the Indiana Dept. of Transportation to ‘have a better entrance experience,’ he said.
Doug Sellers, who was elected at the meeting to retain the position as commission chair, asked if there were discussions with INDOT about adding a left-turn lane for those wishing to enter the casino from the south on S.R. 111.
‘It’s just a suggestion on my part,’ he said. ‘I drive it every day.’
Currently, S.R. 111 has a right-turn lane for southbound traffic at the traffic signal in front of the parking garage. Northbound traffic is limited to one lane, requiring those wishing to turn into the casino to wait until oncoming traffic is clear. There is no left-turn arrow.
‘There won’t be another traffic light at this time,’ Schrage told the commission.
Schrage did say during the presentation that ‘a large portion of the pavilion would be remodeled.’
During public comments, just one person spoke about the request.
Jeff Eastridge, who has property that butts up to Caesars’, said the gaming company has been ‘very generous’ since it opened 20 years ago.
‘I’ve had zero problems,’ he said. ‘I’m just here in support of this docket.’
When asked outside of the meeting about more specific plans, Seigel didn’t wish to elaborate now.
‘Horseshoe Southern Indiana is always exploring options to provide the best gaming and entertainment experience for our guests,’ he said, citing the example of completing a $14 million renovation to its hotel last spring.
Also during the meeting, Jim Mintner was elected vice chair of the commission and was selected to succeed Larry Ott on the Harrison County Board of Zoning Appeals. Attorney Maryland Austin was retained as legal counsel for another year with a contract for $9,000 (a $1,000 increase over the 2017 contract) approved.
The plan commission’s next meeting will be Thursday, Feb. 1, at 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center in south Corydon.