After the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe broke ground on a $26.5 million major renovation project at its flagship Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mount Pleasant, MI, phase one has been completed ahead of the planned April 22 completion date and the new high limit gaming and VIP lounge will be unveiled at 3pm today during a ceremonial grand opening.

According to the Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort website, the first phase of construction began on January 15 and included developing a new VIP lounge and relocating the high limit gaming to the poker room, transforming it into a luxury space complete with Casino Hosts’ offices and integrated VIP lounge. The “old poker room” will reportedly be housed in the Slot Palace through phase two of construction which is slated for completion mid-June.

Midland Daily News reports that the casino and resort stated that today’s early grand opening will showcase the reconstructed space which was designed to please VIP and high rollers.

“This transformation is one of many more transformations yet to come,” said Soaring Eagle’s CEO Ray Brenny. “I’m pleased with the results that I’m seeing from the steadfast efforts of I5 Design Co. and the construction teams. Tremendous progress was seen week after week, so I’m not surprised that it’s two weeks ahead of schedule,” according to the newspaper.

A welcome address will be given by Brenny and Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribal Chief Ronnie Ekdahl at today’s grand opening event.

According to the casino’s website, phase two, which also began on January 15, includes remodeling the Kid’s Quest / Cyber Quest. Beginning on April 23, multiple modifications will be made to the gaming floor’s far west end. Phases three through five include the construction of various amenities including an enclosed poker room, a sports bar & night club “ASCEND” and an enclosed non-smoking area. Construction of these areas is scheduled to be completed by June 17, August 12 and July 29, respectively.

Scheduled to begin on June 18, phase six includes the updating of the existing Entertainment Hall, which in the April 2018 issue of The Observer (pdf), the tribe’s newspaper, Brenny said is expected to be completed by the September 23 launch date. Phase seven, the final phase, includes the re-branding of the sub shop and is expected to begin on July 30 and span five weeks.

Recognizing another milestone, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort is celebrating its 37th year of gaming this year.

In June last year, the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe broke ground on the construction of a new five-story 148-room hotel for its Saganing Eagles Landing Casino in southern Arenac County. The new development will also reportedly include space for an additional 400 slot machines and is expected to be completed in early 2019.

Additionally, millions of dollars are being invested by the tribe to upgrade The Green Suites, which according to citing the March issue of The Observer, will be rebranded as The Retreat at Soaring Eagle. Taking place over the summer in phases, upon completion the newly upgraded retreat will accommodate casino guests, as well as the neighboring Waabooz Run Golf Course and Soaring Eagle Waterpark and Hotel.