After years of starts, stops and legal issues, officials in Terre Haute will Tuesday break ground on a planned $240 million casino and hotel. The Queen of Terre Haute Resort is being developed by Kentucky-based Churchill Downs Inc. (Nasdaq: CHDN), which officially received the license to build the casino in December.
The Queen of Terre Haute Resort will feature a 400,000-square-foot casino building with 56,000 square feet of gaming space that includes 1,000 slots and 50 table games, as well as a 125-room hotel.
The casino was originally slated to be built on a nearly 21-acre plot of land on Honey Creek Drive west of the Haute City Shopping Mall. However, CDI announced in February it would relocate the project to a 50-acre site near I-70 and State Road 46 on the city’s east side.
Officials say the project is expected to create 500 jobs and generate $190 million in annual economic impact.
Plans for a casino in Terre Haute were born in early 2019 when Governor Eric Holcomb signed House Enrolled Act 1015, which allowed for one of the two Majestic Star Casino licenses to be moved from Gary to Vigo County.
The original developer was Spectacle Jack LLC, a subsidiary of Indianapolis-based Spectacle Entertainment. The company was rebranded to Lucy Luck Gaming, run by Chairman Greg Gibson, after legal issues involving Spectacle Entertainment began to cause confusion.
In June 2021, the Indiana Gaming Commission unanimously voted to not renew the gaming license for Lucy Luck, claiming the company had not hired an executive team to run the casino and had not secured full financing.
The IGC reopened applications for the license, and Churchill Downs was selected from a pool of five proposals.
An updated timeline for construction was not provided, but CDI officials previously hoped to have the casino open by late 2023.