DANIA BEACH, Fla. - A developer wants to buy Dania Jai-Alai and turn it into a casino and entertainment venue.
"This is what they need to get Dania going, to really kick Dania in is this right here," said Joe Bottiglieri.
Current owner Boyd Gaming bought Dania Jai-Alai for $152 million in 2006. The deal would have it selling at $65.5 million, an $86.5 million loss.
Neither Boyd Gaming nor the developer could be reached for comment Friday. The developer tried buying Dania Jai-Alai in 2011 with plans for a casino with 1,500 slots, a hotel, and a deepwater marina.
"Our understanding is yes, they will essentially be working under the same agreement we approved a year or two ago," said Dania Beach Mayor Walter Duke.
The complex has sentimental value to Duke.
"My high school class actually gradated in 1978 in Dania Jai-Alai," he said.
Other residents remember its heyday.
"Right now, this would bring a lot of vitality, a lot of new people to the area, especially a lot of jobs and people of course need to get their hair cut somewhere," said Bob Delaney, who owns nearby Hair People Salon.
The deal is expected to close in May.
"If they do the casino the way it is supposed to be done, it will be a hopping place," said Bottiglieri. "I think it will come back."
"To see Dania Jai-Alai get back up, get dusted off, be improved and bring jobs to our city and bring gaming to our city again is something we are all excited about," added Duke.
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