The Casino: What Did KM Actually Get?

A new casino in Danville, VA opened its doors earlier this year. But in 2020, when voters approved the casino plans, Caesars presented the city of Danville with a $15 million check – and a new police station.

While obviously a slightly different situation, similar local improvements have been made using gaming revenue since Harrah’s Cherokee casino opened – including a new hospital and a state-of-the-art $124 million school.

Also in Virginia, the newly-opened casino in Bristol generated $14 million in its first month of operation – with $4.7 million going to local counties, the City of Bristol, and the town of Norton under their agreement. 

And in Portsmouth, VA – the casino operator is paying for a new police substation at the casino site.

So, what exactly is Kings Mountain getting from Catawba Two Kings?

The answer: NOTHING.  Certainly nothing like other cities have gotten when a casino has come to their town.

In reality, the City of Kings Mountain has zero agreement with the casino – outside of the fact that the casino will need to purchase utilities from us. So, knowing that the casino site needed our utilities, why did our leaders not have the foresight and vision to look around at how other towns were benefitting?

The only agreement that Catawba Two Kings has with any local government is with Cleveland County – a payment in lieu of taxes agreement that will result in money directly in county coffers and some form of revenue sharing and hotel tax agreement. That does NOT include the City of Kings Mountain. Once again, our leadership was non-existent.

How did our City Council, Mayor, and former City Administration drop the ball this badly?

How did they lack any vision, strategic foresight, or plan of action to ensure that the City is getting something in return?

Look up and down the Appalachian corridor and you see cities securing guarantees and agreements with casinos coming to their towns.  Except in Kings Mountain.

While the casino will undoubtedly bring jobs and tourism, a massive economic opportunity was completely missed and mismanaged by those sitting in City Hall.  No check.  No local improvements.  No revenue sharing.  Nothing.

Again, how did the City Council, Mayor and former City Administration fumble this so badly?

The City is rapidly approaching another opportunity in the form of the Albemarle Lithium Mine.  An international corporation is planning on coming into our town, extracting billions in product out of the ground, and affecting the local scenery and surroundings.  Whether you are supportive of this effort and its potential economic impact or not, we all can agree – the City can not fumble the ball again.  

Years of mismanagement and negligence have led us to this place and time.  Years of the same people being negligent and mismanaging the City, especially. They have exhibited no experience, no vision, and no humility enough to see how other communities have handled situations like this. They think they know what’s best – with no desire to seek opinions or learn from others.

The City of Kings Mountain sits at a crossroads – where industry and economic impact are heading our way.  We simply cannot afford to fumble this badly when it does.  We need a change in City Hall. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *