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DODGE CITY, KS-Global Entertainment Corp. has received approval from the local city council and Ford County officials to start the ball rolling on the 4,300-seat Dodge City Event Center. The project is moving into design phase, and could break ground by the end of 2009 at an approximate cost of $42 million.

The Dodge City Events Center will be directly adjacent to Butler National Corp.’s planned 400-acre Boot Hill Casino and Resort, a destination entertainment resort along U.S. Highway 50. Ivan Moore, director of business development with Tempe, AZ-based Global Entertainment’s construction arm Global Properties 1 tells GlobeSt.com the city and county will buy approximately 33 acres from Butler National for the arena.

The event center will differ from the Tempe, AZ-based developer’s other projects in Wentachee, WA; Allen, TX and Independence, MO in that it won’t automatically be home to a Central Hockey League team. “This isn’t a CHL market, though another hockey tenant is to be determined,” Moore explains. “We’ve also had a good amount of interest from soccer, other hockey leagues and indoor football for that building.” He adds that the entire project, from design phase to completion, will likely take between 20 and 24 months.

Dodge City Events Center is adjacent to the one casino project able to move forward since the state authorized four non-tribal gaming zones throughout the state. As previously reported in GlobeSt.com, a casino to be developed in Kansas City, KS by Baltimore-based Cordish Co. and the International Speedway Corp., had to go back to the drawing board to make some changes, while to other developers had to withdraw their applications in different parts of the state because of the eroding financial markets.

Butler National Corp., headquartered in Olathe, KS, broke ground on the first phase of its $87.5-million local project in late December. The first phase, the casino complex, will have 474 slots, 10 game tables and a restaurant. Upon completion of all phases, the Boot Hill Casino and Resort will boast 875 slot machines, 20 gaming tables, a 124-room hotel and restaurants.

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