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Construction to Begin Soon on Big Venue in Deadwood

Tue August 14, 2007 - Midwest Edition
Construction Equipment Guide

DEADWOOD, S.D. (AP) A firm has been hired to develop an initial design to turn the Slime Plant, an old mining facility, into Deadwood City Limits, a 12-acre (4.8 ha) venue that can seat 3,500 people for shows.

Mark Oswald, a promoter for Dave Morris and Associates of Nashville, Tenn., is a part-owner. He presented the idea in May and since then, a group of owners has consulted with engineers to develop a floor plan for the complex.

Other owners include Dale Morris, Dwight Wiles and Kenny Alphin of Big and Rich, a country music duo who did a concert in Deadwood that turned into a television show. Deadwood investors include Ron Wheeler, Tim Conrad and Mike Gustafson.

It will take a long time to excavate and renovate the Slime Plant into a mining-themed venue, Wheeler said during a tour of the building.

Among the first things to be done, possibly in August, is excavating more than 50 ft. (15.2 m) of rock on one side of the building.

“It will be a very large project,” Wheeler said. “It will not only allow for additional capacity, but this particular excavation is very important to maintain the building.”

Contractors also will excavate 16 ft. (4.9 m) of cement from the bottom floor to make space for a casino that will hold 210 gambling units.

A 100-room hotel complex will be slightly hidden behind the building. A parking ramp could hold 400 cars.

Deadwood City Limits originally was the brainchild of Texas investor Bill McDavid. Morris, Oswald, Willes and other investors bought the building from McDavid and have revived the idea. They said they hope to have something in operation by 2009.

Oswald, one of the major promoters of Big and Rich, works closely with the city in setting up concerts. Deadwood City Limits could schedule 100 shows during the first few years, promoters said. The investors said they have ties to Kenny Chesney, Cowboy Troy, Gretchen Wilson and many more country stars.

Deadwood City Limits also could hold smaller events such as community events and large parties.

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