ATTN: Illinois Gaming Board
Dear Chairman Schmadeke and Board Members,
As you consider applications for the casino license for the south suburban region, I would like to submit this letter of support on behalf of Wind Creek Hospitality and its proposal to develop a casino and entertainment destination in East Hazel Crest and Homewood.
The East Hazel Crest-Homewood proposal is the best site for attracting significant numbers of out-of-state visitors from Northwest Indiana on a continuing basis. Nearly 80 million vehicles pass by the proposed site adjacent to I-80 each year. More visitors, and particularly out-of-state customers, maximizes revenue for the state. Moreover, it will bolster the ongoing development of the Halstead corridor and improve prospects for more development northward into Harvey.
The casino itself is projected to create the equivalent of 800 full-time jobs when fully operational, not including construction jobs that get the project to that point. We are encouraged by the fact that Wind Creek has committed to actively recruit employees from the south suburban region – careers ranging from maintenance and casino-floor positions to hospitality and management roles.
The casino will provide a needed economic boost to the entire south suburban region – shared revenue, as well as jobs for south suburban residents. Although Harvey does not have a casino application, the selection of Wind Creek will nonetheless have a positive impact on the future of our City. We need the best possible applicant – one that will generate the greatest revenue, draw the most visitors, create the best jobs, and create an architecturally superior building – and we believe that applicant is Wind Creek Hospitality.
Christopher J. Clark