Castle Rock Casino Resort Announces First Shula’s Steak House in Kansas

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Resort will attract visitors from a four-state region

Hall of Fame coach Don Shula, who led his teams to two Super Bowl victories and the only perfect season in NFL history, plans to bring his winning restaurant to Kansas. Coach Shula achieved an NFL-record 347 career wins with the Baltimore Colts (1963-69) and Miami Dolphins (1970-95). He began a different kind of winning streak when he started Shula’s Steak House in 1989. Son Dave Shula, a former NFL player and coach, serves as company spokesperson, partner and brand ambassador. Father and son today announced plans to make Shula’s Steak House part of the Castle Rock Casino Resort proposed for Southeast Kansas.

“Our top-quality brand perfectly aligns with Castle Rock’s plans to develop a Las Vegas-style destination casino resort that attracts visitors from a four-state region,” says Dave Shula. “Castle Rock provides us the perfect opportunity to enter a market that values and wants premium beef.”

Shula’s franchises 35 restaurants in 13 states. The steakhouse is themed after the accomplishments of the undefeated ’72 Dolphins team. That reputation for doing things right permeates the atmosphere at Shula’s. It’s first-class without being stuffy, excellent without being pretentious. The select cuts of Angus beef are vacuum packed, aged and never frozen. A point of difference is the Shula Cut, which comes from the centermost parts of a tenderloin.

“There’s simply no better steak experience,” says Rodney Steven II, a Castle Rock partner. “Shula’s Steak House will deliver a premium brand to Southeast Kansas with destination-quality dining.”

Castle Rock’s proposal for Southeast Kansas is more than twice the size of the two competing proposals and it projects generating twice the tax revenue for the state and region. As a true destination casino resort, Castle Rock can successfully compete against existing casinos. It’s strategically located – just off I-44, directly on US 400 – to attract crowds from Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma.

The team behind Castle Rock consists of dozens of Kansas business leaders – people with a track record of accomplishment. In addition to Rodney Steven II, the team includes his brother Brandon Steven; brothers Ron and Marty Cornejo; Crossland brothers Ivan, Bennie, Mike and Patrick; Dave Burk; Dave and Ken Wells; Mike Vess; WG Farha II; Johnny and Mike Steven; David Becker; David Murfin; Gregory Schmidt; Robert Snyder; Michael Olander; Robert “Steve” Ruud; Dr. Pat Do; Richard and Teresa Rucker and family. All invest in and contribute to efforts throughout Kansas. That means the profits from the casino will be reinvested in Kansas to grow the Kansas economy. Each team member represents the highest levels of professionalism and experience, ensuring the creation of a world-class, high-performing casino resort.

Southeast Kansas is the fourth and final gaming zone in Kansas to establish a state-owned casino.    

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About Shula’s:
Shula’s Steak Houses, LLLP owns the Shula family of restaurant brands. The company first debuted its signature steak house concept in 1989 in Miami Lakes, Florida. This white-table cloth, fine-dining concept was the pioneer for all the concepts to come. All Shula’s restaurants serve The Best Beef Money Can Buy, The SHULA CUT® consisting of only center cuts of Premium Black Angus Beef. Today Shula’s Steak Houses, LLLP has more than 35 restaurants nationwide, ranging from casual to fine-dining. Shula’s 347 Grill is a chic, energetic restaurant offering menu variety at a lower price point. Shula’s 2, Steak & Sports, is a laid back, sports restaurant. Shula’s Bar and Grill exclusively at airport locations and combines gourmet burgers, signature appetizers, crafted cocktails and premium wines, in a comfortable yet energetic bar environment. The newest concept, Shula Burger, is a quality fast-casual restaurant providing mouth-watering burgers. For general or franchise information, please visit http://www.donshula.com.

About Castle Rock Casino Resort:     
Castle Rock Casino Resort derives its name from the must-see Kansas Wonder in Western Kansas. The name is appropriate, developers say, as the casino resort will be an awe-inspiring, jaw-dropping attraction. One that makes a significant, positive impact. The $144.5 million project will create 893 jobs and includes 423,000 square feet of facilities. It will feature a four-diamond-quality, 200-room hotel, a nationally known steakhouse, buffet, 24-hour restaurant, high-energy sports bar and lounges. The complex will offer substantial meeting space capable of hosting anything from small, intimate gatherings to large-scale conferences. All of its 1,400 slot machines will be latest releases and Class III. Its 35 table games include craps, roulette, blackjack and others. A separate poker room houses 16 poker tables.

Almost two million people live within 90 minutes of the Castle Rock site in Cherokee County, just off I-44, directly on US 400. It sits on the state lines of Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma and only a few miles from Arkansas. Seventy-five percent of its projected 1.25 million annual visitors will be from out of state. It’s projected that these non-Kansas visitors will generate $16.7 million in tax payments the first year. Castle Rock should generate more than $3.45 million in local taxes and casino revenue sharing and a minimum of $22.3 million in tax revenue for the State of Kansas. This compares to two other proposals that will generate, according to the information released by them, less than one half the revenues for the State and approximately 300 jobs.

WhiteSand Gaming serves as the development’s lead consultant. It makes its headquarters in Las Vegas and maintains an office in Atlantic City. Clients include Wynn Las Vegas, Bellagio, MGM Resorts, Caesars Entertainment, Valley Forge, Borgata, Mohegan Sun and Prairie Meadows. The Las Vegas-based Friedmutter Group will put its years of experience into the casino architecture and master plan. Its client roster includes such well-known names as the Cosmopolitan, Caesars, Station Casinos, MGM Resorts, Ritz Carlton and Hard Rock Casinos. Cherokee County-based Crossland Construction will build the project and work with the architects to ensure Southeast Kansas has the finest casino in Kansas. American Casino and Entertainment Company, which owns and manages four casinos in Las Vegas and Nevada, will manage the casino.

After the gaming facility manager is selected in June, the casino resort design will be completed with construction immediately following. Castle Rock already owns the property, has secured the necessary construction approvals and will have plans in place to expedite the process. Castle Rock’s projected opening is August 2016.

Future plans call for a health club and spa, RV park and a large arena. It will be the home of a professional hockey franchise as well as hosting headline concerts and other large events.

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Kevin Behan