Elite hopes to break ground on Fonner Park Grand Island Casino Resort next month

The temporary structure will have close to 300 slots and live table games.
The temporary structure will have close to 300 slots and live table games.

Construction of a temporary casino at Grand Island’s Fonner Park, Nebraska, is expected to start in September after the state fair.

US.- Elite Casino Resorts hopes to break ground on its temporary Grand Island Casino Resort next month. It said work would begin at the Fonner Park racetrack in Grand Island after the Nebraska State Fair, which ends on September 5. 

Fonner Park chief executive officer Chris Kotulak said work would “get started as soon as we can after the fair.” He added: “two days after, we’re going to start the demo in the concourse area.”

The temporary structure will have close to 300 slots and live table games. Customers will be able to play blackjack, roulette and craps, in addition to slot machines. It also will include a small restaurant and bar area

The temporary casino is expected to open in November. It will be operational for at least two years. Construction of the permanent casino will take place after the 2023 state fair. It’s expected to open in 2025.

The resort will include a 37,000-square-foot casino floor with 650 slot machines and 20 table games, plus a sportsbook. The venue will also offer four restaurants including a rooftop dining experience, a show lounge and sports bar, a 116-room boutique hotel, a salon and spa, gift shop, an indoor and outdoor pool with an expansive deck and a 400-stall parking garage.

Nebraska voters approved a constitutional amendment allowing casinos at the state’s horse racetracks in November 2020. The Grand Island facility is one of six initial casino projects expected to move forward in Nebraska. Projects have already broken ground at horse tracks in Omaha and Lincoln, both of which intend to operate temporary casinos.

Nebraska Grand Island Casino Resort general manager

Last month, Elite Casino Resorts announced the appointment of Vince Fiala as general manager of Grand Island Casino Resort. Fiala was previously the assistant general manager of Elite’s Grand Falls Casino Resort in Larchwood, Iowa. He has been with the company since 2014.

He has been in the casino industry for 14 years and has over 20 years of experience in hospitality and finance. In addition to his seven years with Grand Falls Casino Resort, Fiala worked for Midco Connections as accounting manager, at a casino in South Dakota as controller and interim general manager, and for the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center in Plymouth, MN as accounting manager.

He will assume his new role immediately and take the lead in building the Grand Island Casino Resort team in preparation for the opening of a temporary facility.

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