Mohegan Tribe Set to Unveil First Phase of $925 Million Casino Expansion

Mohegan Tribe Set to Unveil First Phase of $925 Million Casino Expansion

8/28/2008
By: Sarah E. Harris On August 29, 2008, the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut ("Tribe") - owners of one of Connecticut's two Native American owned casinos - will unveil the Casino of the Wind, a the 64,000 square foot expansion of the Tribe's existing Mohegan Sun Resort Casino. The Casino of the Wind represents the first phase of the Tribe's $925 million Project Horizon expansion which is slated for completion in the Fall of 2010. Project Horizon, once complete, adds an additional 1.4 million square feet of gaming, resort, retail and entertainment space to Mohegan Sun, already the second largest Native American casino in the United States. A press release from the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority - the Tribally owned entity that operates Mohegan Sun - explains that the Casino of the Wind draws its inspiration "from the solar phenomena" and notes that the Casino's design highlights and pays homage to some of the Mohegan Tribe's most timeless traditions "including the spirits of the four winds: north, south, east and west." But Mohegan Sun executives believe that the Casino of the Wind offers patrons more than an aesthetic glimpse of tribal tradition. Mitchell Etess, President and CEO of Mohegan Sun explains, "[o]ver the past 12 years, Mohegan Sun has confirmed its standing as the Northeast's premier entertainment destination." Regarding the Casino of the Wind, Etess added "[a]s we grow with our latest expansion, we continue to offer our visitors an unparalleled guest experience." Indeed, the new Casino offers guests an additional 45,000 feet of gaming space including a 42 table poker room, 28 table games and 680 slot machines. The Casino of the Wind also features a bar, a deli and a 16,000 foot Jimmy Buffet's Margaretville restaurant. Yet the expansion comes as Tribal gaming revenues around the country continue to decline. Mohegan Sun's slot revenues for July 2008 totaled $75.9 million, a decrease of $12.9 million, or more than 14.5 percent, from July of 2007. Mohegan Sun executives say a declining economy and the rising price of gas are to blame for "wreaking havoc with the numbers." Meanwhile the Tribe is hopeful that their latest endeavor will offer the Tribe a reprieve from the gaming industry's recent economic woes. For more information on the Casino of the Wind, click on the link below. www.mohegansun.com/sitelet/casino-wind/.
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