Office of Technical and Information Services
Architectural and Transportation Barriers Compliance Board
1331 F Street N.W.
Washington D.C. 20004-1111
Subject: Response to Request for Comments
Americans with Disabilities Act Accessibility Guidelines for Large Passenger Vessels
Docket No. 2004-1
Dear Sir or Madam:
These comments are from the Iowa Gaming Association (IGA); whose membership includes nine riverboat casino vessels located on the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Iowa was the first state in the country outside of Las Vegas and Atlantic City to offer a full array of gaming entertainment on the riverboats. We have seen for well over a decade the significant economic impact these riverboats have provided to their respective communities as a catalyst for economic development, as a creator of thousands of great jobs, and as an important part of the tourism industry.
On behalf of the IGA and the nine riverboat companies listed below, we have read and fully support the comments filed by the American Gaming Association. Collectively, these commercial casinos are Iowa's largest tourist attractions. In that vein, these Iowa casinos actively accommodate people of all needs and ages over twenty one to ensure that the casinos remain an ongoing premier entertainment destination.
We share the concerns expressed in the American Gaming Association’s comment and agree that these concerns should be addressed as the Access Board and the Department of Transportation move forward on these passenger vessel guidelines and regulations. In particular, if the clear width requirement were to apply to every aisle on our casinos' gaming floors, the collective annual loss of revenue would be staggering. Such a loss would have serious implications, not only for the casinos themselves, but for the state of Iowa's tax revenues, for the charitable organizations that regularly receive contributions from the casinos, and, perhaps most important, for the communities that depend on the jobs and revenue the casinos provide.
Thank you for the opportunity to comment in these proceedings.
Wes Ehrecke, CAE
Iowa Gaming Association
4401 Westown Parkway
West Des Moines, Iowa 50266
(Including riverboat casino members:)
Argosy Sioux City Casino
Catfish Bend Casino
Diamond Jo Casino
Harrah’s Council Bluffs Casino
Isle of Capri Casino-Bettendorf
Isle of Capri Casino-Marquette
Mississippi Belle II Casino
Rhythm City Casino