by Wes Wade
The Isle of Capri is stunningly beautiful in both it's architecture and location next to the Mississippi River. The Grand Opening ceremony on Tuesday, October 30, while a bit cold and windy, was a celebration of the dreams and vision of many from the Cape Girardeau community.
David Knight and Jim Riley, the visionaries driving the casino project, finally saw years of challenges with many emotional highs and lows come to completion when the the Isle of Capri Casino in Cape opened the doors at 10:30am.
So many community movers and shakers joined Knight and Riley in making this day a reality that space doesn't permit naming them all. Suffice it to say it took a team effort made this day happen.
The crowds lined up at opening were large and the line was long in spite of the cold wind blowing. Once the doors opened the lobby was packed as people applied for their gaming cards and then entered the casino floor.
While there appeared to be a few glitches, the slot repairmen were quick to respond, all in all making the process smooth and quick. I thought the crowd would take hours to get through the turnstile, but it was starting to thin out as I left the casino just a short 45 minutes later. Complements to the staff for their hard work in preparing for this grand event.
The architecture and decor were the inspiration of Paul Keller, who passed away this past spring. There is a blending of stone and steel in the Isle bringing together the feel of the Bill Emerson Memorial Bridge and the rural heritage of the Mississippi River valley. Words will not suffice to describe how beautiful the building is, so I will leave that to the photos we took and your own visit to the casino.
In talking to several visitors and employees one thing is for sure the Isle of Capri Casino is truly a regional entertainment venue. I met employees and visitors from Illinois, Kentucky and all over Southeast Missouri.
Many business owners have expressed concern regarding the new casino and how it will impact their business. I am hopeful that the spill over effect from both good paying jobs and vast numbers of visitors to our community will benefit all our area businesses. Only time will truly tell.
Videos from The Casino Opening!