Potawatomi Bingo Casino breaks ground on $150 million, 381-room hotel

Development to spur new jobs, more visitors

Potawatomi Bingo Casino, owned and operated by the Forest County Potawatomi Community, furthered a two decade-long investment in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley by breaking ground on its $150 million hotel last week. Connected to the casino, above is a photo of the projected finished project.

Potawatomi Bingo Casino, owned and operated by the Forest County Potawatomi Community, furthered a two decade-long investment in Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley by breaking ground on its $150 million hotel last week. Connected to the casino, the project will generate hundreds of new jobs and millions in additional revenue for the area.

The hotel, which will serve as a new icon in the Menomonee Valley, will feature 381 rooms, a spa and exercise area, a casual-dining restaurant, a lobby/bar lounge and meeting space. Designed as a 3 ½ star facility, the hotel will feature refined furniture and fixtures throughout. Construction is expected to last about two years with the hotel opening to the public in the summer of 2014. Additionally, a new parking structure will add hundreds of new stalls for our casino and hotel.

“Potawatomi Bingo Casino has shown its commitment to Milwaukee and the Menomonee Valley by providing thousands of good jobs, contributing millions to area charitable causes and reducing the cost of vital community services for taxpayers through revenue sharing,” said Mike Goodrich, Potawatomi Bingo Casino General Manager. “These efforts will only be enhanced with the addition of a hotel.”

The hotel will add about 230 permanent jobs to the 2,600 already existing at the Casino. An additional 995 jobs will be created during the project’s construction. Additionally, during construction, Potawatomi Bingo Casino has committed to awarding 20 percent of construction bids to minority- owned businesses, and 25 percent of construction jobs to city of Milwaukee residents.

Analysis shows hundreds of additional jobs being created by other local businesses that will benefit from visitor, supplier and employee spending.

Significant economic and revenue benefits from this project will be seen locally and statewide. The project is expected to generate nearly $10 million per year in additional revenue for the City and County of Milwaukee, VISIT Milwaukee and the State of Wisconsin from property, sales, exposition and personal income taxes.

“Potawatomi Bingo Casino is a very important part of our tourism mix,” said Paul Upchurch, President and CEO of VISIT Milwaukee. “The Casino’s marketing creates awareness for Milwaukee and its support of VISIT Milwaukee enhances our efforts to draw tourists to the area. The hotel will be a great addition, allowing the Casino to attract even more tourists here, who will have an added incentive to stay longer. And that will have a wide-reaching and positive impact on our local tourism economy.”

The hotel development will be smoke-free and green, designed to include a number of environmentally friendly features integrated into the hotel’s construction and design. These include the use of recycled products and materials during construction, the incorporation of energy efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing design strategies, an innovative storm water management system, the use of native plant species in the landscape design and other measures to aid the environment and control long term costs.

“Utilizing green measures in both construction and operation of the hotel helps sustain not only the business, but serves as a cornerstone value for the Tribe,” said Goodrich. “Since day one the Tribe has implemented sustainable business practices, which continue to meet the vision of the Menomonee Valley to help it grow and thrive.”

Since opening as a 2,000 seat bingo hall in 1991, Potawatomi Bingo Casino’s success can be seen in its tremendous growth. In 2000, the first phase of Casino expansion was completed with the introduction of 800 additional slot machines, 25 blackjack tables, full service dining venues and a 500-seat theater. In 2008, the Casino saw its most ambitious expansion project come to fruition, tripling its size and offering many new amenities and gaming options to its nearly 6 million annual guests. During this same period, Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley has been revitalized, becoming a model for business development, entertainment and recreation.

“Only a decade ago, the Menomonee Valley consisted of acres upon acres of vacant land. It was, for the most part, a wasteland and a shadow of what it once represented,” said Laura Bray, Executive Director of Menomonee Valley Partners. “The Forest County Potawatomi have led the way in the Valley’s resurgence. This hotel project will further its growth and success and serve as a great complement to the valley’s diverse mix of entertainment and industrial businesses.”

When opened, the hotel is intended as an amenity for Casino guests with a focus on attracting new Casino visitors. Independent experts believe that a hotel at Potawatomi Bingo Casino will grow the overall hotel market in Milwaukee. Analysis shows about 90 percent of stays a Potawatomi Bingo Casino hotel would be new visitors to Milwaukee who are currently not spending the night at an area hotel.

Greenfire Management Services of Milwaukee will serve as the development’s project manager. Cuningham Group Architecture will serve as the project’s design firm. Innovation Project Development is a consultant on the project. Financing has been arranged PNC Bank, National Association.

Reservations are not being accepted currently, but people can keep up with hotel construction progress and other news at http://www.paysbig.com/hotel/hotel-construction-project.