January 24, 2017 07:41 PM
The Grand Portage Lodge and Casino is one of Cook County's largest employers, and this year, it will be a John Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon checkpoint too. Just in time for that event, the casino will reopen after renovations.
The casino section closed Sunday night and will reopen Wednesday morning at 7 a.m. Casino Manager Steven StandingCloud said Grand Portage Lodge and Casino has always seen itself as a destination, not just for gamers, but also for people visiting the historic site nearby.
The expansion, which is the second of three phases adds more seating to the lodge and infuses the place with Ojibwe culture in the form of floral motifs and local woodwork.
"It was done by a local band member by the name of Donovan Damon," StandingCloud said, pointing out a particular piece of woodwork. "It's of the little spirit tree here in the area, and that's a prominent sacred site for the band."
There are enticing new additions to the casino element too.
"We'll have a bigger and better casino floor. We'll have over 400 machines with dozens of brand new games," StandingCloud said. "We're going to reintroduce blackjack to the gaming floor."
Plus, there will be new dining options, which staff were trying out Tuesday before the reopening.
Phase three will also include an event center and expanded banquet space. But for now, employees are focused on making sure the place looks shiny and new for Wednesday's 7 a.m. open.
"Everybody's excited, everybody wants to get some of this done so that we can move on to bigger and better things," StandingCloud said.
Updated: January 24, 2017 07:41 PM
Created: January 24, 2017 07:40 PM
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