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RIVERSIDE, IA-Located near Cedar Rapids, 16 miles south of Iowa City, the Riverside Casino and Golf Resort is beginning to take shape. Once completed, the entire property will encompass nearly 375 acres adjacent to the Iowa River and will include a Rees Jones-designed 18-hole championship golf course.

“We told the gaming commission this would be a full-bodied destination resort, and it’s that kind of experience that will attract visitors from a long way,” says Mohammed Lawal, principal of the project’s designer, Minneapolis-based KKE Architects. Spanning more than 7,200 yards, Lawal tells GlobeSt.com the grounds will showcase man-made lakes, diverse terrain, riverview vistas, a full-service golf clubhouse, retail shop and teaching/practice facilities.

A 1,200-seat multi-purpose center will set the backdrop for concerts, conferences and large family celebrations, and a 58,000-sf single-level gaming floor will accommodate up to 1,400 slot machines, 24 blackjack tables, four craps tables, three roulette tables and a 10-table poker room. Accented with high ceilings and dramatic lighting effects, the casino also will host an elevated center bar with an overhead fountain. Food-service facilities will include a fine-dining steakhouse serving up to 70 visitors, a 356-seat buffet, a 24-hour diner with 60 seats and an ice cream/coffee shop. Further, the property will house a 141,000-sf, 200-room hotel.

Lawal tells GlobeSt.com the biggest challenges of the project included getting all the components of the project into the site, as well as emulating Iowa’s riverboat history into a modern design. Revenue generated in the casino’s first year is estimated to reach $83 million. The site is expected to open in the fall of 2006.

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