There's a fight underway to keep a casino being built on a flood plain in North St. Louis County... a couple miles north of I-270 in Spanish Lake. The Columbia Bottom Conservation Area has been the backdrop of Tom Becherer's family's land since 1885.
This is far from a case of "not in my backyard" opposition.
Tom has the support of area community, religious and environmental groups who say a casino on this spot would be a huge mistake... destroying a wildlife habitat and just taking business away from other casinos in the St. Louis area. County Executive Charlie Dooley has come out against this idea, too.
Sounds like if county leadership doesn't want it, the Missouri Gaming Commission would look elsewhere.
Those fighting to keep a casino off this land admit to me they don't think this is a very likely location for the Gaming Commission to grant the state's only open casino license. There are three other bids for it. One of them happens to be just a few miles away near the Old Chain of Rocks Bridge in North St. Louis.
However, they say they don't want to take anything for granted and just can risk the Spanish Lake area becoming the chosen spot. Until the Gaming Commission picks a spot, the Save the Confluence Coalition (www.savetheconfluence.org) will stay organized and try to keep growing.