Voters Speak Out: Waterpark or Casino?

By Jill Kasparie, Reporter

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By Jill Kasparie

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa – Water park or casino?

Many Linn County residents are responding to Riverside CEO Dan Kehl’s announcement. Friday afternoon he promised he'd build a water park on the same piece of land where casino investors want to build the project.

Kehl called his plan a "family-friendly" entertainment complex. Not only would it include an indoor water park, but it would also have a bowling center and possibly a go-cart track, but according to Kehl it’s a no-go unless voters turn down the casino idea.

While Kehl promoted his plan, casino supporters called it a last minute attempt to confuse the issue. KCRG spoke with people who didn't know quite what to think of Friday's announcement.

It’s obvious many people are very passionate about this upcoming vote. Yards are filled with signs for and against the proposed casino. With just days until voters head to the polls, people had mixed responses about Kehl's water park plan.

“Sounds like a good idea, sounds like it would benefit the people and the kids and everything, so sounds like a great idea to me,” Ione Lehew said.

“He's obviously trying to protect his own interest there. But I'd like to have a casino and a water park,” said Dick Jones.

“I just think it's kind of a bribe for him to come out and say that. I think if people want a casino here, they should vote yes, if they don't want it here vote no. It really isn't going to affect me much,” said Carol Patterson

“I'd probably use the water park ,but I think the casino would raise more money,” said Wendi Gabrielson.

The referendum vote to allow gambling in Linn County is set for March 5.
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