Hayden casino group to host 1st community forum

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Who: The Sleeping Giant Group

What: Community meeting on proposed casino in Hayden

When: 5:30 p.m., Thursday

Where: The Haven, 300 S. Shelton Lane, Hayden

— For more information on the Sleeping Giant Group partnership, visit www.sleepinggiant...

Members of the Sleeping Giant Group, LLC, are hosting a community meeting to discuss the details of a proposed casino slated for construction near Yampa Valley Regional Airport.

The meeting is open to the public and takes place at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at The Haven, 300 S. Shelton Lane in Hayden.

Last month the Sleeping Giant Group — which consists of Steamboat Springs resident Steve Hofman, winter Olympian Johnny Spillane, Hayden resident Dave Marin, Hayden developer Stefanus Nijsten, Nijsten’s business partner Bob Zibell, and Steamboat Springs attorney Scott McGill — put into the public arena various casino project documents commissioned by the partnership during the last six months.

A feasibility study, market analysis, artist rendering and site plan are available for public viewing on the partnership’s web site, www.sleepinggiantgroup.com.

Thursday’s meeting marks the beginning of the second phase of the project, Hofman said Tuesday.

“Even though this is the first of what we anticipate to be many meetings throughout the Yampa Valley, we hope that people not only from Hayden, but from Craig and Steamboat Springs, are able to attend,” he said. “We think everyone has a stake in this particular project, so it is our desire to hear the voices of the entire valley.”

Among Thursday’s meeting agenda items is an opportunity for the public to meet the members of the Sleeping Giant Group, Hofman said.

There will also be a brief Power Point presentation on the highlights from the market analysis conducted by the Innovation Group, a Littleton-based gaming industry consulting firm, and an economic impact study compiled by Yampa Valley Data Partners.

Some of that analysis includes crime statistic comparisons of communities who have embarked on similar casino projects.

“I think people will be somewhat surprised by some of that data,” Hofman said. “The assumptions people make, sometimes for good reason, are not always valid. I’m sure people are interested in learning some of those things.”

Hofman expects a large crowd to attend Thursday armed with a lot of questions to get a “good conversation about the pros and cons of the project” underway.

The meeting will run for however long it takes to answer the public’s questions, Hofman said.

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