Months of hard work culminated Monday when ground was broken for construction of the Wild Rose Casino on Clinton’s west end — the first land-based casino that will be built in the state.

The $25 million project will cover 28.6 acres of land at U.S. 30 and Mill Creek Parkway. The 120,000-square-foot facility will feature a 28,000-square-foot casino with a gaming floor of 600 slot machines and 14 tablegames. Other amenities include a 60-room hotel, an Iowa gift store, a sportsbar and restaurant, a full buffet and events center with seating for up to 1,000 people, as well as valet parking and space for up to 1,000 vehicles.

Casino officials expect a 12- to 14-month window before the facility opens.

Breaking ground for the new facility was a proud moment for the casino’s executives as they expand their operations here, but at the same time, the benefits will reach farther and wider.

Valley Bluff Development, which acted as a catalyst for the project to take place and is a partnership between Realtors Dan Jefferies and Steve Howes, in February signed the land acquisition deal with Wild Rose Entertainment for nearly 29 acres on the site of 117 acres located northeast of the U.S. 30/Mill Creek Parkway intersection. Valley Bluff will continue marketing the remaining 88 acres to prospective retailers and businesses, with expectations of more than 40 businesses located in the area.

What it will mean is that while people will be attracted to the casino, there will be current and future businesses in the area where they will be drawn to spend their dollars. Jefferies noted the project would provide tourism opportunities, benefiting existing businesses by creating more traffic and injecting revenue into the community. He said his company is planning office projects here and all this activity is going to supply a much-needed boost to the tax base revenue of the city of Clinton, adding that there will be increased sales tax revenue and more direct and indirect job opportunities for the citizens of Clinton and the surrounding area.

No matter what your stance on gambling as a whole, whether you are OK with it or not, the bottom line is many will be drawn to the community to drop their dollars here in more than one way.

Yes, Monday was a good day for Clinton.