LARCHWOOD—Work will begin soon on a $10 million expansion and renovation project at N’West Iowa’s only casino.
Grand Falls Casino & Golf Resort northwest of Larchwood hosted a groundbreaking ceremony Tuesday, Sept. 24, for the project, which will include a new hotel addition, recreational vehicle park, sportsbook and entertainment venue on the casino floor.
“These projects are consistent with our business philosophy of reinvesting in our properties, providing world-class facilities, luxurious amenities, exceptional food and great guest services for all of our guests,” said Grand Falls general manager Sharon Haselhoff.
The project will include:
- The addition of 66 hotel rooms with an elevated corridor overlooking Grand Falls’ outdoor swimming pool and pool deck.
- Additional RV campsites.
- The conversion of the casino’s show lounge into a new sportsbook.
- The expansion of Grand Falls’ Center Bar into the Center Stage, a musical entertainment destination featuring local and regional musical artists.
“These new additions will allow us to offer an unmatched gaming and resort experience and accommodate even more guests throughout the tristate area,” Haselhoff said.
The land-based Iowa casino is not located far from the Hawkeye State’s borders with Minnesota and South Dakota.
“Their new building project is great for Lyon County,” said Lyon County Economic Development director Steve Simons.
“Adding 66 hotel rooms is good,” he said. “They’re our leading employer in the county, so it’s growth in a business that’s beneficial to the county.”
Dan Kehl is the CEO of Elite Casino Resorts, which owns Grand Falls and casinos in Davenport and near Riverside.
“Business has been growing steadily over the last few years,” Kehl said. “It’s very exciting to make this investment in the community. We’re expecting to see great results from it and encourage a lot more excitement at the resort.”
Haselhoff has been Grand Falls’ general manager since it opened in 2011. The casino employs 450-500 people, depending on the season.
“There’s been a lot of planning to get to this point,” she said. “It’s going to be a great addition to our resort and also the community as a whole.
“To think, eight years in, we’re already building a new hotel wing — that’s pretty impressive,” she said.
With the addition, the casino’s total number of hotel rooms will increase from 97 to 163.
“We’ve had a lot of groups ask for hotel rooms — more than 100 — so now we’re going to be able to work with groups that are looking for 150 rooms,” Haselhoff said.
“That’s pretty exciting because I think it just brings you into a whole different level of group business,” she said. “Then, of course, we’ll be able to have additional rooms for the weekends.”
Haselhoff is looking forward to work starting soon on the project.
“The first thing will be all the earthwork to be done and to get the site ready to go and then the foundations poured,” she said. “Sometime in November, you’ll see it start to rise.”
The goal is for the project to be completed by Memorial Day weekend of next year.
“We wanted to make sure the hotel is ready to go by summer, which is one of our busiest seasons,” Haselhoff said. “Our goal is to have a very aggressive construction schedule.
“We’re going to have a lot of local and area contractors working on this project,” she said. “That’ll really help boost the economy in the area.”