Boonville casino celebrates 10 years

A Boonville landmark is celebrating its 10th anniversary.

The Isle of Capri Casino and Hotel has brought some huge changes to the Cooper County River Town over the past decade.

Isle of Capri is now the largest employer in Boonville. The boat generates about $4 million a year for the community. Casino money helped pay for a new police and fire station. When the casino first opened 10 years ago, some people feared the boat would attract more homeless people and increase crime. Police and tourism officials say that did not happen.

Boonville Tourism Director Lisa McClary said, There TMs been nothing like that. In fact, there have been no traffic issues and no crime issues. We get hundreds of thousands of visitors coming to Boonville. We are able to capitalize on the marketing dollar that Isle of Capri has to get the word out that Boonville is here.

Over the past 10 years, Isle of Capri has helped improve numerous projects throughout the City of Boonville and the surrounding area. It has also helped preserve Boonville TMs rich history. Isle of Capri sponsors many Boonville events including Heritage Days which celebrates the town TMs birthday and an annual classical music event called the Festival of the Arts.

Isle of Capri General Manager Barron Fuller said, Boonville is so strong in culture and history, that hopefully, we TMve helped preserve some of those things and promote those things by putting Boonville on the map as a true tourism destination.

Boonville TMs Isle of Capri employs about 500 people. 78 of them have been there since the doors first opened.

It was just about 10 years ago when the people of Jefferson City turned down the chance of having a casino along the Missouri River.