Friday, September 7 2012, 09:41 PM CDT
Community reacts to a Casino coming to town
By Caitlin Conrad/KTVL.com
MEDFORD, Ore-- The Coquille tribe's plan for a new casino could mean more dollars coming into the Rogue Valley impacting job-seekers and businesses.
Not everyone is thrilled with the idea of a gambling establishment in their town.
Diana Lewis owns the property right next-door to where the new casino could be. Lewis says she's not thrilled with a gambling establishment going in so close.
Lewis is worried about noise and traffic, "how am I going to get out of my driveway," she said.
The Coquille tribe has had the casino in the works for a year and a half but just announced it's plans for a casino. The tribe has already bought the property which was once the home of Kim's and the building housing Roxy Ann Lanes as well as the Bear Creek Golf Course, all in a non-disclosure deal.
The project would use the roxy ann facility for games, keep the golf course as is and use Kim's as a parking lot.
Chief Kenneth Tanner says the casino could potentially bring 700 jobs to the valley. "We're excited about our efforts to bring this here to be a partner in revitalizing the economy of the area as a well as contribute to the general needs of our tribe.," the chief said.
Businesses nearby say more workers is always a positive thing.Joe Skinner with Skinner autoplex says he hopes it also boosts traffic to his car lot. "Somebody may win the big deal over there and come buy a car gotta be the closest car lot," Skinner said.
Tanner says the exisiting businesses will operate as is until the casino goes in.
In a statement released to News Ten business owner Roxy Ann John Larkins said this;
"We are leasing Roxy Ann Lanes from the new owners and our plans are to continue for years to come. we like the business and we enjoy doing what we can to meet the recreational needs of the people of our community."
The casino could be built anytime within the next one to six years. Jackson county has the second highest population of Coquille tribe members in the state. Because the county is also in the service area of the tribe it can have reservation land here.
Right now the tribe is applying for a trust, which usually takes two to three weeks to go through. Once the trust goes through it will take between one and six years to become reservation land where gambling is legal.