Some residents love the idea of a casino, others are worried

Reaction to a casino at Roxy Ann Lanes and the former Kim's Restaurant

News of a possible casino in Medford had some area residents jumping for joy, while others worried that it would create an unsavory atmosphere locally.

“When I saw the paper this morning, I rejoiced,” said Lee Wenzel, a 72-year-old Medford resident. “I can't wait for this to happen.”

Wenzel was playing the video lottery games at Lumpy's on Riverside Avenue Friday morning.

“I would never come here again,” he said. A casino similar to the one in North Bend on the coast would offer a greater variety of games that would keep him amused, he said.

“It's entertainment for me,” he said. “I'm retired. I don't care.” Wenzel did think there would be a place for Lumpy's and other smaller gambling

The Coquille Indian Tribe has acquired Roxy Ann Lanes and the former Kim's Restaurant in hopes of opening a Medford casino along South Pacific Highway. The tribe also has agreed to lease Bear Creek Golf Course, adjacent to the two buildings.

Karlene Allred, manager of the Lumpy's, said she wasn't happy to hear Wenzel talking about jumping ship.

She said she was concerned about the possible impact of a large casino on smaller gambling operations.

“The heavy betters would go over there,” she said.

Karen Kurtz, chef of Zach's Deli & Catering Co. on Center Drive, said she worries the casino would give Medford a bad reputation.

“It'll probably get built, though,” she said. “Everything happens on the sly in this town.”
She said she worries the casino will encourage more people to blow their paychecks gambling.

Despite her fears, Kurtz said she realizes many people would rather go to a casino in Medford than heading up to Seven Feathers.

“My mom and dad are going to love it,” she said.

-- Damian Mann