The Grand Falls Casino is located just west of Larchwood, very close to the South Dakota state line.
Thursday night, hundreds poured through the doors for the grand opening. All of them had money on their minds, but some...not for the reason you might expect.
To steal a line from a baseball movie, if you build it..they will come. Well the doors were open at the Grand Falls Casino and people were pouring in. One of them, 85 year old Ralph Kock of Inwood. "People don't realize what this means to Lyon County." Kock has lived in this area all his life and says there has never been a project with the potential to jump start the local economy like this one. This may have been a night mostly for the curious as opposed to gamblers, but most everyone we saw was sitting down and putting in a dollar or two and for a Thursday night opening, the place was busy.
"It's exciting. That's all you can say, it's exciting." Joe Massa is a South Dakota native and is also Grand Falls chief operating officer. He says years of work culminate with this opening to the general public. Nearly all of the 700 jobs at the casino are filled by local and regional residents. They are jobs they never thought they'd have. What was a farm field is now a casino.
The Grand Falls Casino has 900 slot machines on it's gaming floor and they're trying to cater to every taste imaginable. The one that caught our eye? The 'Star Wars' slot machine.
But what is on everyone's mind is the money. For some, it's how much they can win. For others, it's how much they can make. And for George, Iowa city councilman Gerald Grave, it's how much money will this casino pump into the Lyon County economy...from this night forward. "I think it's fantastic cause there's not a lot of economic development in Lyon County so this all helps."
It will all add up...one dollar at a time.
Based on tonight's turn out, folks out at Grand Falls expect to see tons of people tomorrow night, the first Friday night the casino will be open.
2011 KSFY Action News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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