Kamloops, British Columbia’s newest casino, Cascades Casino Kamloops, will have its grand opening this evening after receiving residents and council approval a year ago.

The plan by Gateway Casinos and Entertainment to relocate the older and smaller Victoria Street casino to Versatile Drive was met with mixed reaction when first proposed to the Lake City staff which advised the council to reject the proposal, but opted to wait to hear community opinion at a public hearing last August. With a summer opening in sight, work began in February, and in addition to a complete renovation the company had to install traffic lights in the area before the casino could open. Prior to opening, Gateway Casinos Chief Executive Officer, Tony Santo, held a tour for local media, and assured them that the project was on schedule.

Compared to the smaller Lake City location, the new 50,000 square foot facility features a 500-slot casino with a poker room, 18 different table games and three restaurants, including the MATCH Eatery and Public House, The Buffet, and Atlas Steak & Fish. This is the Atlas brand’s first offering at a Gateway location, which Santo described as “high-end.” Already established at Gateway’s other properties, The Buffet seats 200, Match approximately 300, and the Atlas 150. The Buffet and Match are already successful restaurants. The casino floor lounge features a stage for live entertainment. Due to parking issues a planned 500-seat outdoor amphitheater was put on hold, according to Santo. The casino employs approximately 325 people, in comparison to Lake City’s 125, and has a capacity of 2,300.

Elements that incorporate Kamloops natural beauty were included in the design for the casino, and adding to aesthetically pleasing surroundings, the casino will provide people with a social experience as well as a large variety of gambling options in addition of other types of entertainment, according to Santo.

The project is part of Gateway’s redevelopment strategy in BC and Alberta. Gateway is also planning an elaborate casino, The Grand Villa Edmonton, in the Edmonton Arena District in downtown Edmonton.