Las Vegas company wants to open casino, retail near Indianapolis airport

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A Las Vegas company wants to buy up 135 acres of land near the Indianapolis airport to build a casino, "high-end creative retail" and more.

Full House Resorts on Monday announced its proposal to build "American Place" in response to the Indianapolis International Airport's "Land Use Initiative." If selected, it would be built on the land along I-465 & High School Road, near where the previous airport terminal was located.

It would include:

  • Approximately 700,000 square feet of high-end creative retail space
  • 25-villa boutique hotel designed to offer the most luxurious accommodations in the Midwest
  • Seasonal plaza
    • ice skating and a European Christmas market in the winter
    • landscaped gardens and forests in the summer
  • Central square surrounded by a unique fountain and 3-D imaging experience
  • Multi-purpose conference and performance center
  • Residential condominiums
  • Offices
  • Restaurant court
  • Multiplex movie theater
  • Small, high-end casino
  • Large health club offering local memberships

"We can build something here, at the Crossroads of America, that doesn't exist anywhere else. We can build a place that will add to the appeal of Indianapolis, make the city proud, and attract both Indiana residents and visitors," said Daniel R. Lee, CEO of Full House Resorts. "Given the adjacency of the airport, we expect the center to attract people from throughout the country to an experience that is part Indianapolis, part Las Vegas, and 100 percent unique."

View the American Place website

The project would cost $650 million, representing one of the largest privately funded construction projects in Indiana history, according to Full House Resorts. They estimate it would then generate $85 million per year in state and local revenues when complete. Full House claims an independent third-party study found "American Place" would also create 4,000 permanent jobs and attract 10-15 million visitors annually.

American Place would be anchored, both physically and financially, by a small casino comprising less than 5 percent of the project's total square footage.

"Our position in proposing the casino portion of the development is unique, as we are simply intending to relocate gaming positions within Indiana, not seeking authorization for any new positions," added Lee.

That "relocation" would involve moving a portion of the gaming capacity at Full House's casino in Rising Sun, Indiana. If approved by the legislature and the Indiana Gaming Commission, transfers of gaming equipment would be done under the Rising Sun gaming license.

"In my career, I have helped develop ten major casino and entertainment projects, all of which have been successful.  Based on that experience, I estimate that if all goes well, American Place should open in three to five years," added Lee.