Cato’s enthusiasm should rub off on city

Published 12:00 am Saturday, April 17, 2004

Some folks might think Natchez is taking a gamble on Charles Cato and his gaming development proposed for just south of the river bridge.

But instead Cato seems to be taking a gamble on Natchez. The Florida developer has taken a look at our city &045;&045; in them midst of its economic challenges &045;&045; and decided he likes what he sees, to the tune of a $53 million investment in out community’s future.

Regardless of your opinion on gaming, you have to be impressed by his optimism. We hope it’s contagious, both for those of us at home and other potential industries.

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Cato’s casino development, which won approval Wednesday from the state Gaming Commission, would create jobs for hard-hit Natchez and contribute to its tax base.

His project also calls for purchase of the Ramada Inn, a landmark high on the bluff.

All told, his multi-million investment &045;&045; which will have to include some kind of access road to the site &045;&045; is a huge investment in our community.

Even with Gaming Commission approval, Cato’s project still has several hurdles to overcome, including OKs from the city planning commission and zoning board

For now, though, we hope Cato’s enthusiasm continues to rub off. A number of naysayers have all but written off Natchez’s future in the wake of plant closings and job losses.

But if Charles Cato is interested in a multi-million investment in Natchez, who’s to say others wouldn’t be?

And why shouldn’t the rest of us be just as excited about our hometown?