Natchez casino developers hope deal reached with city by April 7
We’ve written a couple stories recently about the stalled casino project on Natchez’s famed Roth Hill.
In early February, Natchez aldermen determined via 5-1 vote that the developers had failed to comply with the terms of the lease option agreement that was forged three years ago — namely, that they had failed to show sufficient progress on the project. In reality, there has been little tangible progress made since February 2008, only planning and design work.
Included in the failure-to-comply resolution was a letter from the city to Premier Gaming Group, the Lane Company and Natchez Enterprises that gave them until April 7 to come into compliance.
We’ve been trying to nail down an interview with Kevin Preston, president of Premier Gaming, for nearly a month now. We’ve traded emails, but getting him on the phone has been, well, a challenge. In one of the emails he sent in response to an interview request, Preston said he understood the frustration city officials felt, adding that Premier Gaming had no intention of abandoning the $45 million project, which they’ve been working on for two years after Lane and Natchez Enterprises brought the Kentucky-based company on board to revive the project. It had stalled in 2008 as the recession spread. “Our goal is to finalize funding and construct a first-class gaming facility Natchez can be proud of,” Preston wrote.
In another email Preston sent yesterday, he said he had actually been in Natchez the past few days, and was confident that a resolution would be reached by April 7, the deadline set in the letter.
What kind of agreement he’s talking about is anybody’s guess.