Wyoming Downs won't expand to old Jackson's Grill

Cheyenne, Wyo. (KGWN) - UPDATE:
Wyoming Downs will not be coming to north Cheyenne, at least for now.

After an outcry from residents who said they don't want to have another location of the off-track betting facility open in the old Jackson's Grill location, Wyoming Downs owners said they’re now looking for an alternate location.

Monday’s City Council meeting saw a slew of residents speaking out against Wyoming Downs in their neighborhood, citing an inordinate amount of calls for service for police to Wyoming Downs’ existing location on Lincolnway in the Cheyenne Plaza shopping center.
Wyoming Downs said after six months of planning and community discussion around, they will research an alternate location in north Cheyenne.

The following is a press release issued by Wyoming Downs on Wednesday.

After six months of planning and community discussion surrounding the company’s plan to purchase and renovate the former Jackson’s All-American Sports Grill in north Cheyenne, Wyoming Downs announced today it will research an alternate north Cheyenne location for their expansion in the market.

“We would like to thank the Cheyenne City Council members who supported our Cheyenne expansion as well as the residents who shared their concerns,” said Wyoming Downs Chief Operating Officer, Rick Cook. “Wyoming Downs’ desire is to remain a strong community partner – we will be going back to the drawing board to develop a plan that fits everyone’s needs.”

The Wyoming company has experienced sustained growth in all eight locations across the state including its current Cheyenne Plaza location. Wyoming Downs expects to announce their alternative north Cheyenne location in the coming months.

Tuesday, a controversial proposal is being discussed. This would place Wyoming Downs in the old Jackson's restaurant and bar. This is located off of Powderhouse.

There is already another Wyoming Downs across town. Dr. Rinne, of Cheyenne City Council, says, "In the past year, they’ve had 111 police calls to their existing location and some are fairly significant. For example, I think 31 were for outstanding warrant... Sixteen were for narcotics."

There was some public testimony regarding concerns about the criminal activity with some of the patrons. Dr. Rinne adds, "We got a memo from the Police Chief saying, 'Look I have reservations about this and about this business.' In my twenty years of council, I’ve never gotten a memo from a police chief saying, 'Look we have reservations about a business.'"

In Committee, the Police Chief gave six recommendations for a security plan. Still, residents have been expressing a lot of concern about Wyoming Downs.

Dr. Rinne asks, “Why do we want to reward someone like that by giving them a second location in town?” Residents in the area have expressed similar concerns.

If you'd like to voice your thoughts, you can attend tomorrow's Public Services meeting. It's taking place at noon in room 104 of the Municipal Building...2101 O'Neil.