Letter: Casino would change downtown

I was taken aback by the announcement of new casino plans (“Two more C.R. casino proposals emerge,” Feb. 11). I thought we were past that. I don’t want to see our downtown change from a vibrant place for business, quality entertainment, residences, and recreation to one that’s a home to glitz and gambling, with shuttered restaurants and entertainment venues.

A casino in the middle of our downtown would degrade it in a variety of ways. It would become less elegant and attractive in appearance. Business people and workers would not be as drawn to a place with a shiny, glitzy casino in its middle. A casino would also occupy space that could attract businesses that would pay better wages than a casino. Casinos usually offer cheap or free food, drink and entertainment to entice patrons. This would take business away from downtown restaurants and venues like the Paramount. I don’t want our new, vibrant restaurant and entertainment scene to be demolished. The constant coming and going of casino patrons would also cause traffic problems. Traffic on First Avenue is already difficult. What would it be like with people coming and going from a casino? I do business downtown and I often walk the hiking trails and make use of the library and art museum. I’m not sure how comfortable I’d be walking there with a casino nearby.

If developers really want a casino, why not build on the edge of town as developers in the Quad Cities have done? Land is cheaper and the traffic would be more manageable.

Zuiko Redding

Cedar Rapids

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