The St. Jo Frontier Casino is getting ready to reopen on Saturday, April 20.
The entertainment establishment had been closed for 31 days following flooding of the Missouri River in March. The casino floor did not sustain water damage, but the land-based casino, including the restaurant and bar, was three feet under water.
"Our restaurant, our bar was extensively damaged due to weather," vice president and general manager Michael Tamburelli said. "The land-based facility is going to the closed for a couple of months. We're redesigning it, fixing it up, and it's going to be back to new in no time."
Updates to the new land-based facility will include a new sports bar buffet and ballroom. Until then, guests can grab bar food like burgers and chicken tenders at the casino bar.
The bridge leading from the land to the casino was also damaged but fixed and ready for use Friday afternoon. Tamburelli said construction was about a week ahead of schedule.
"We thought we would be a little longer, we got to cut a week," he said. "We had a great team come in, the restoration team came in, fixed it up, our internal team — what a job they did and our construction team did a great job."
The casino also sustained damage during the 2011 flood, an experience Tamburelli and his team were able to take advantage of.
"A lot of our folks, probably around 20, 30 folks, were here in 2011. I wasn't here, so I used them as a guide," he said. "They had the knowledge that really helped us prepare, we moved a lot of stuff prior to the closing and we saved a lot of our equipment."
Cleanup continues on city property
Director of Parks, Recreations and Civic Facilities Chuck Kempf said cleanup around the Remington Nature Center, Bill McKinney Softball Complex at Heritage Park and Riverfront Park will take several more weeks.
"Flood damage along the trail is in the form of significant amounts of silt and debris, some destruction of trees, deterioration of sections of the river bank, and slight damage to signage," Kempf said in an email. "Most of the more significant damage along the river related to the parks department exists at Bill McKinney Softball Complex at Heritage Park."
Kempf hopes to open the softball complex by the second week of May, although the main building might not be available for use until later in the summer. Port-a-potties and portable concession stands will be utilized until then.
The cleanup is manned by City departments and volunteers.
"Be patient with the recovery process, especially along the Riverwalk," Kempf said. "The amount of silt left behind by the receding waters will take time to remove and allow the trail to be re-opened. The effort has to be worked in while public works and parks staff are performing regular work duties."