The Terre Haute City Council unanimously approved on Thursday the rezoning of 49 acres of land on East Margaret Drive off the Indiana 46 to allow Churchill Downs to move its proposed casino from near Haute City Center off U.S. 41 to the city’s east side, in compliance with the desires of Vigo City officials.
Said Councilwoman Cheryl Loudermilk:
“For years, I always thought we could use a casino here. You know, I think it’s great for our community. I think we have a lot of opportunities to build off a casino coming here.”
The rezoning effectively transfers the said parcel of land to a classification of C-3 Regional Commerce District from Agricultural use. A buffer zone will also be created between the C-3 zoned area and residential areas.
Transfer of Location
Last month, Kentucky-based Churchill Downs Inc. applied for the rezoning of the site near I-70 and State Road 46 to build its $260 million Queen of Terre Haute Resort. The casino project was originally planned to be constructed in the city’s west side nea the Haute Shopping Mall and the City’s wastewater treatment plan.
With the Council’s approval, Churchill Downs will now seek the nod from the Indiana Gaming Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals on the new location. If the two approvals are secured, Churchill Downs says it expects to break ground in May and launch in late 2023.
The gambling company is also due to petition the city to allow it to build a 150 feet tall structure instead of the current allowed height of 125 feet. The proposed height has already been confirmed as outside the local airport’s flight patterns but Churchill Downs will still have to make that request in a meeting scheduled for March 17th.
Queen of Terre Haute Resort
The Queen of Terre Haute Resort will feature a 400,000 square foot casino building with 56,000 square feet of gaming area that will house 1,000 slot machines and 50 table games. The resort will also have a 125-room hotel and is exected to creat 1000 construction and 500 permanent jobs with an estimated $190 million in yearly economic impact.
Last September 2021, Churchill Downs submitted the proposal to develop the Queen of Terre Haute Resort. Two months later, the Indiana Gaming Commission unanimously voted, 7-0, to award Churchill Downs a casino license to operate in the area. Churchill downs beat Full House Resorts whose proposal was rejected on a 5-2 vote.
Churchill Downs owns about a dozen casinos and five racing facilities including the Churchill Downs racetrack in Louisville, Kentucky which is the home of the famed Kentucky Derby horse race which is held in May of each year.