Wild Rose Casino &?Resort bloomed on the prairie east of Emmetsburg four years ago. At the time, nobody knew the actual effect that a casino would have on the county. Within just a few months it became clear that Wild Rose was a real keeper.
The Wild Rose brings people to the community and that boosts our tourism. People come for the gaming and they come for the concerts and they come for the good food. While these people are in town, many buy products from local businesses.
According to the Wild Rose, admissions between 2007 and 2009 have totaled more than 1.7 million guests. Check the license plates on a quick drive through the parking lot to see the wide range of Iowa counties and the number of states of guests at the Wild Rose.
Our friends and neighbors are employed to meet the needs of these guests at the Wild Rose. Over 275 employees greet the guests and keep the games going in areas of dealers, slot technicians, slot attendants and cashiers. They cook and serve, keep the house clean and provide security on the casino side and in the hotel. Benefits offered to the staff include a full range of insurance options, 401(k), educational assistance and paid time off. Payroll and benefits are in the range of $7 million annually. We see these same people in service clubs, serving on community boards and volunteering their time to serve others.
The Wild Rose gives back to the community. Six-percent of the adjusted gross is set aside for Palo Alto County. Each town in Palo Alto County receives per-capita grant awards. Through Palo Alto County Gaming Development Corporation, the non-profit organization of Wild Rose, grants are distributed to organizations throughout Palo Alto County. Just look at the grant totals given back to the community: $1,581,661 in 2007; $1,649,338 in 2008; and $1,660,778 in 2009. You can see these grant dollars at work in every corner of Palo Alto County. New fire and safety equipment, playgrounds, community centers, VFW and American Legion projects have all benefited from gaming grant funding.
As a corporate citizen, tax payments are generated from the Wild Rose gaming facility in Palo Alto County. In 2007, $7.7 million was paid; in 2008, $8.6 million; and in 2009, $8.6 million. Wild Rose spends money locally. They buy local and buy Iowa first. We should all follow their lead.
The Wild Rose is an asset to the community. They bring concerts to the stage, their halls are available for wedding receptions and meetings, and their kitchens will provide food for special occasions and nightly dining. On the upper level, stop to look at area artists' work displayed on the wall and look out the window at the gathering of geese.
We appreciate what Wild Rose brings to the community. We encourage you to turn the ballot over and vote "Yes" on the measure for "continued operation of gambling games at a gambling structure in Palo Alto County."
Your Yes vote today is a vote for continued progress!