After announcing its Project Forward expansion venture in mid-August, the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe has now broke ground on the development scheme for its casinos in the towns of Wisconsin Dells, Black River Falls and Wittenberg.
The tribe earlier revealed that the expansion project will cost $153 million and see it further develop a trio of Ho-Chunk Gaming-branded casinos while also adding 100 jobs to its already 3,400-strong workforce.
According to a report from the La Crosse Tribune newspaper, Project Forward will see the casino in Black River Falls add a 120-room hotel along with an expanded and redesigned casino offering 200 more slots. The plan is to additionally involve operator Ho-Chunk Gaming bringing high-limit gaming to the facility located approximately 55 miles south of Eau Claire while constructing a new parking lot and a remodeled buffet with 36 additional seats.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Elliot Garvin from the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe told the La Crosse Tribune. “We’re going to be delving into a new adventure here. I see nothing but good things coming for our people.”
For the casino in Wittenberg, which is located some 67 miles northwest of Green Bay, the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe is to add an 84-seat restaurant and bar alongside an 86-room hotel. As if this wasn’t enough, Project Forward will see the facility’s casino expand with the addition of 272 slots and ten gaming tables as well as new high-limit and non-smoking gambling areas.
Finally, the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe explained that Project Forward is to see a new hotel main entrance and lobby added to its facility in Wisconsin Dells while the property is to moreover have its bingo and buffet areas renovated. The central Wisconsin casino will also soon feature a new hotel bar, poker room and off-track betting facility while its gaming floor is to be redesigned and come complete with an expanded non-smoking area.
Greg Garvin, Executive Manager for the Wisconsin Winnebago Tribe’s Ho-Chunk Gaming enterprise, told the La Crosse Tribune that the Black River Falls casino already welcomes some 700,000 visitors a year from around the world while Project Forward will allow the venue to continue its history as a “premiere gaming and entertainment center”.
The newspaper reported that officials hope to finish Project Forward by the end of next year with the trio of facilities set to maintain their regular working hours and offerings during the work.
“We ask for your patience,” Tim Kippenhan, Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer for main contractor Miron Construction, told the La Crosse Tribune. “We will do our best. It really is important for us to shine.”