The area of Chittenango is famous for being the home of Lyman Frank Baum, the author of children’s books, most notably ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’. Taking a cue from the famous book which later became a beloved movie, the Oneida Indian Nation decided to create a casino based on the Wizard of Oz. The tribe began construction on the Yellow Brick Road Casino in 2014 and by June 2nd of 2015, the venue had opened its doors. The casino now has celebrated one year in operation.

The Yellow Brick Road Casino is located in the former Ames Plaza and had a cost of $20 million to complete. The 60,000 square foot casino has been a big hit and the venue has been celebrating their anniversary thanks to the employees, business and community partners, according to the Rome Sentinel publication.

Ray Halbritter is the CEO and a representative of the Onedia Indian Nation who stated that the casino is named for the connection between the village and author L. Frank Baum but also due to the message behind ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’, which encourages a vision for readers. It was this vision that helped the city of Chittenango and the surrounding area to be able to revive.

According to Halbritter, Central New York has seen ups and downs but the partnerships like the ones in Chittenango will help to continue to make the area a major tourist attraction and continue to revive the economy. The casino currently has 250 employees and has seen many visitors enjoy gaming over the past year.