The Wichita Eagle

(TNS) A group of Wichita investors is announcing Monday its plans for a casino in Cherokee County in southeast Kansas.

Representatives of Castle Rock Casino Resort said they plan to build in the extreme southeast corner of the state, less than a mile north of I-44, directly on U.S. Highway 400. The Las Vegas style casino aims to draw residents of Missouri, Arkansas and Oklahoma, as well as Kansas.

A team representing the casino development group was in Columbus, Kan., Monday morning to meet with Cherokee County commissioners. The team plans to hold a news conference at 3:30 p.m. Monday in Wichita, according to a news release from Greteman Group.

Castle Rock is owned by a group that includes Rodney and Brandon Steven, Dave Burke, Dave Wells, WG Farha II and Mike Vess, as well as others.

The plan is to complete the approval process in the coming months and start construction, with the casino opening by early summer 2016, according to the release.

The state's schedule calls for applications for casino projects to be submitted by Dec. 19, and contracts approved by March 19, 2015.

Actual construction is expected to take about 12 months. The property on which it will be built is already in place, according to the release.

The move to build in Cherokee County comes after state lawmakers this year lowered the required investment in the region from $250 million to $50 million. According to the release, the change along with an improving economy "generated renewed interest in Southeast Kansas."

Casinos already have been developed in three of the state-authorized zones: Boot Hill Casino in Dodge City, Kansas Star Casino in Mulvane and Hollywood Casino in Kansas City.

The $130 million project will include a 65,000-square-foot casino with 1,400 slot machines, 35 table games and a poker room, as well as a hotel with 200 rooms. It also will include three restaurants and a spa/health club.

According to the release, the casino resort will create more than 1,000 jobs and generate more than $3.5 million in local taxes and casino revenue sharing, as well as an estimated $20 million in tax revenue for the state.

(c)2014 The Wichita Eagle