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$3 Million Barge Near Completion

13 September 2004

ST. LOUIS, Missouri – As reported by the St. Louis Today: "A 48,000-square-foot floating dining and entertainment facility may soon be docked at a riverfront near you.

"Wood River businessman Rick Jones has almost completed a $3 million, 14-month renovation of a barge that had been used as a landing for the Alton Belle Casino.

"Jones may decide this week or next where to locate the banquet-restaurant facility. The decision will bring as many as 200 new jobs and additional sales tax revenues to the community that lands it.

"Although it was never advertised, representatives of 27 communities have expressed interest in the boat. Jones said they include several in the St. Louis area and ones as far away as Chicago, New Orleans and St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands. He said 17 remain in contention.

"Jones is listening to all offers but said that he hopes to keep the boat in the River Bend area.

"…What Jones is looking for from a host community is infrastructure - utility hookups, signage, access and sufficient parking to accommodate as many as 3,000 guests.

"… Wood River Mayor David Ayres said he would like to see the boat remain in Wood River, where it was renovated…"

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