Posted: Fri, September 7 2012 at 6:22 PM, Updated: Fri, September 7 2012 at 6:27 PM
Three businesses in Medford have been sold to make way for the first casino ever in the Rogue Valley.
Roxy Ann Lanes and Kim's Restaurant, are now owned solely by the Coquille Indian Tribe. They have also agreed to lease the Bear Creek Golf Course. Their plan - to create the first full casino in Medford.
The news came as a shock.
"I woke up this morning. I got a telephone call from a friend of mine..." says Alex Romanowsky, who rents his bowling shop inside Roxy Ann Lanes in Medford.
He had no idea that the CoquilleTribe of North Bend had purchased the bowling alley for 1.6 million on August 2nd. "I went 'Woah!', Roxy Ann Lanes has been sold and is going to become a casino?"
Chief Kenneth Tanner of the tribe tells us that's not unusual. "I'm not surprised, that they're surprised. We've been discreet."
Tanner tells us Roxy Ann Lanes and Kim's Restaurant, closed escrow this August, as well as a lease agreement for the Bear Creek Golf Course. All to make way for a casino.
First they must apply for a trust to turn all 23 combined acres of land into a reservation.
"Until we get the land in trust, it will operate as is. I suspect that will be for probably 2 years."
If approved, then it will be up with the casino, which Tanner says should be a valuable asset to the community. "In coos county we've created 700 jobs and 1300 related jobs, as well as pumped 125 million dollars into the community."
Design plans are already in the works. "We're going to use Roxy Ann as is, and place games in there. The golf course will not change."
Which is good news for Romanowsky who says, "Maybe they'll be able to expand the place." Also meaning, he may not have to move.
The Coquille Tribe also own the Mill Casino in North Bend.
Medford represents their second largest concentration of members after Coos County.