Grand Island Casino Resort opened its temporary casino facility on Tuesday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony with several state and local officials in attendance.
A line started to form early in the morning for the opening. Guests had a chance to enjoy refreshments while waiting for the casino doors to open.
Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak and Elite Casino Resorts CEO Dan Kehl delivered remarks before guests entered the casino.
“We are excited to partner with Fonner Park to add this temporary casino and, ultimately, a first-class casino resort to this race track,” said Dan Kehl, CEO of Elite Casino Resorts.
“The introduction of casino revenue puts us on a path of regenerating a once thriving thoroughbred racing industry in Nebraska,” said Fonner Park CEO Chris Kotulak.
The temporary casino is in the concourse of Fonner Park adjacent to the Van Berg Racing Collection and the Nebraska Thoroughbred Racing Hall of Fame display. The temporary facility features approximately 300 slot machines, kiosks for horse betting, and a snack bar. The casino will operate until the full resort is completed.
Future permanent resort plan
Construction on the full resort, including a 37,000-square-foot casino, is expected to begin in the fall of 2023. The resort will feature 650 slot machines, 20 table games (including blackjack and craps), a sportsbook, and four dining options. Dining will include a Ruthie’s Steak & Seafood restaurant.
The resort will also provide live entertainment at a show lounge, sports bar, a 116-room hotel, a salon and spa, a gift shop, indoor and outdoor pools, and 400 vehicle parking garage.
Grand Island Casino is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. until midnight Sunday through Thursday and until 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday.