Potawatomi Bingo Casino celebrated a benchmark in its $150 million hotel project Friday with a topping-off ceremony of the 18-story tower.
The celebration recognized the nearly 800 workers who have been involved with the project to this point in the hotel’s construction.
It is expected that nearly 1,000 workers will participate in the project by the time the hotel opens in early fall 2014.
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 employees.
“It’s a privilege to be part of a project that will redefine the city’s skyline,” said Toma Goodbear, a speaker at today’s event and city of Milwaukee carpenter.
“The construction market certainly sees its ups and downs, especially in Wisconsin where the weather can be so unpredictable. It’s nice to be part of such a long-term, stable, exciting project.”
In addition to representatives working on the project, speakers at Friday’s event included leadership from Potawatomi Bingo Casino and the Forest County Potawatomi, as well as Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele.
During the event, the final beam, signed by Potawatomi Bingo Casino team members, was dropped into place by the project’s tower crane.
“This hotel will provide another opportunity for us to shine as Wisconsin’s premier entertainment destination,” said Mike Goodrich, Potawatomi Bingo Casino General Manager.
“In addition to elevating our casino property to a new level, the hotel will serve as a new icon in Milwaukee and another chapter in the storied history of this property.”
Potawatomi Bingo Casino’s 18-story hotel will feature 381 guest rooms, including 16 suites and a presidential suite on the top floor.
The smoke-free hotel will offer a full-service casual restaurant, lobby bar, exercise area and more than 10,000 feet of additional meeting space.
A third parking structure with 1,400 parking stalls will be built east of the existing parking structures.
The hotel development will also 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.
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 more than 6 million annual guests.
During this same period, Milwaukee’s Menomonee Valley has been revitalized, becoming a model for business development, entertainment and recreation.