JEFFERSON, Iowa -- The state rolled the dice on a new casino in Greene County. Now one year later, the Wild Rose in Jefferson is celebrating its mark on the community
Since opening its doors, the casino has welcome half a million gamblers. Thousands of other non-gaming guests have also stopped by the new facility.
“Something new in Jefferson,” said Judi Jacobsen.
She wanted to bring that something new to Jefferson for the economic impact and entertainment value. The casino created 230 jobs and supporters say it made good on another promise.
“We've (given) in excess of $ million in commitments to the community and region,” said Craig Marquardt with Grow Greene County.
Marquardt says you don't have to look far to see the difference the casino is making in the community. Some of the funds will go to improvements to the 50-year-old Bell Tower on the square and to make additions to Jefferson Gardens. The dollars stretch beyond Greene County to the six surrounding ones.
“Hopefully we can expand on that and when we see us this time next year, that we can say we're expanded. I don't know if we can double it, but anything more than what we gave is going to be a plus,” said Marquardt.
That could be enough to win over a few folks who didn't want the casino built in their backyard.
“I didn't say it was bad, I just said I don't support it,” said Rod Frederick.
“People really enjoy the shows they have out there when they have the concerts and things those are always sold out,” said Jacobsen.
On Friday, Wild Rose is holding an outdoor concert to kick off the one year anniversary celebrations. The band, Hairball, will take the stage. Other concerts and giveaways are set for later this month.