Thursday November 27, 2014

Casino expansion happening soon: Atcheynum

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The long-awaited expansion to Gold Eagle Casino is due to move forward later this month.

That was confirmed to reporters Thursday afternoon by Kelly Atcheynum, general manager of the casino in North Battleford.

Paving and prep work will begin this month for that expansion, Atcheynum said, with the project taking place over an 18-month period.

But a grand opening may happen sometime earlier than that, according to operations manager Roger Anderson, with dates of April or May possible.

The intention is to expand the front of the existing casino building by 6,000 square feet, with the addition to be located just west of the existing Kihiw Restaurant.

The project will add a “non-smoking area away from the gaming floor itself,” said Atcheynum.

Plans for the expansion have been in the works for some time, having been unveiled at a luncheon for Battlefords Tribal Council last spring. The move would increase the size of the casino and address concerns about ventilation inside the building.

The addition would go on what is now a parking lot. Addressing the parking situation will be the first priority before the main construction begins.

Atcheynum said the first phase of the project will expand parking between the Gold Ridge Centre and Kihiw and also at the back of the existing casino.

“The main thing is to get the parking facilities completed first,” said Atcheynum.

In the meantime, it continues to be business as usual as far as operations at the casino, with no impact on the gaming itself.

Atcheynum spoke of the expansion plans at the launch of the new Smoke Signals progressive jackpot. The new top-level jackpot starts at $1 million across Saskatchewan, something he said would create “more excitement in the province.”

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