Dear Answer Man, welcome back! But if it’s true that you are completely cured of elephantine egotism, we may have to cancel our subscription. We love the fact that you are full of yourself. It makes you you!
Now, my question: What is the maximum occupancy of the casino floor at Treasure Island Resort & Casino? Thanks. — Ding and Ling
Thanks, D&L, and no worries — since my return from humility treatment, it’s obvious that the cure has completely failed, and I’m still the same glorious me. As my boss said yesterday, “Why did we even bother? I should have just flushed the money down the toilet.”
How many people would you guess Treasure Island can accommodate on the casino floors? I might have estimated 5,000, but in fact, it’s about 9,600, said Cindy Taube, TI’s public relations manager. So on a completely madcap night at Treasure Island, the casino can hold the entire population of Pine Island and Stewartville combined — and that doesn’t include the Treasure Island Events Center, which holds about 3,000 people, the hotel (500 rooms) and the rest of the property.
No matter how you measure it, Treasure Island is one of the economic powerhouses of the region.
Answer Man, what is going on south of Cannon Falls on Highway 52? Along both sides, there is some construction and they are cutting trees down and building paths in the fields. Is it communication (telephone or radio) poles or towers or is it in anticipation of Zip Rail? — Adam John Broich
Don’t get that rumor started, Adam — I’ve seen “No Zip Rail” yard signs in that area, so there’s already a lot of fear and trembling about that possibility. The tree clearing has zip to do with Zip Rail.
And Adam, I simply must insist that you read my column every day, even when I’m away on “special assignment.” I addressed this issue in a masterpiece on May 5 — those trees and shrubs are giving their lives for CapX2020, the vast power line project that generated so much controversy in our area and is now nearing completion. Among the last tasks to be tied up is construction of the main line down U.S. 52 from Hampton to the “North Rochester” substation at Pine Island. That will link up the new line from Pine Island to the Kellogg river crossing.
The power towers along U.S. 52 will be about 140 to 170 feet tall and will be about 700 to 1,000 feet apart, within a 150-foot right of way corridor, so get ready for eyesores. The work likely will continue into 2016.
There’s also a lower-voltage link to the Chester area to be finished. Those towers and lines will go up this fall and should be finished just in time to create a new hazard for Santa Claus.
The total cost of the CapX project: In the vicinity of $2 billion.
Dear Answer Man: Not to stir up trouble, but are there any Confederate flags or monuments in our area?
Fascinating question. This reader also passed along a newspaper clip from Helena, Mont., where a fountain in a park, donated long ago by the Daughters of the Confederacy, has become a matter of controversy. As you probably know, Minneapolis is dealing with the legacy of Lake Calhoun, which was named to honor one of the most fire-breathing pro-slavery U.S. senators from the South.
I’m not aware of any Confederate regalia or place names around the area, but I’m working on it.