The Eastern Shoshone Tribe of Fort Washakie, Wyoming has begun work on its Shoshone Rose Casino & Hotel near Lander after holding a groundbreaking ceremony last week. The $30 million expansion project was approved in December after the tribe announced a 20-year gaming extension in October.

The expansion carves out space for the construction of a future events center and increases the size of the gaming floor which currently holds 325 slot games, to a 500-slot gaming area. The new facility will also include a café and outdoor dining in addition to a 61-room hotel. Upon completion of the new casino, the current space will be utilized for storage and meetings.

The hope is that the expansion and addition of the hotel especially, will help to attract a higher volume of out-of-town visitors from markets such as Salt Lake City, Casper and Rock Springs, according to Bob Pokorney, the casino’s general manager. Pokorney said the casino is a bit too far for day trips for visitors traveling from those important markets and having overnight accommodations should alleviate that.

Pokorney expects construction crews to have completed the foundation around Thanksgiving, allowing for the continuation of work on the inside of the facility during the winter months. The casino’s general manager anticipates construction being completed by the end of the summer or early fall of 2016.

Pokorney said the expansion project, “It’s going to have a big effect on Fremont County. Already we’ve got three major local contractors out working on the site, and that, “We’ll have up to 90 construction jobs for the next year. The casino is going to add 50 new positions, it’s a pretty important economic development project for Fremont County,” according to information at the Casper Star Tribune.

While the [Northern] Arapahoe Tribe and the Eastern Shoshone Tribe currently share the Wind River Reservation’s 3,473.272 square miles of Tribal Land in Wyoming, the tribe’s Wind River Hotel & Casino near Riverton and Shoshone Rose Casino near Lander, Wyoming, respectively, share no affiliation.