The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee announced on Tuesday its plans to expand the existing hotel structure by adding a second hotel tower. The hotel and casino, owned and operated by Forest County Potawatomi Community, is set to begin construction later this year pending approval by the city of Milwaukee.
The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino first opened its hotel in 2014 and has become increasingly more popular in recent years. As it stands, the casino has 381 rooms and hopes to create an entirely new tower consisting of 119 rooms and suites, bringing the venues total to 500. Rather than building an entirely new stand alone tower, the proposed project would be attached to the existing 19-story hotel. The new 180,000-square-foot tower will also include a number of other amenities, such as a spa and a meeting space. If the hotel expansion is approved by the city, it would be expected to open in the spring of 2019.
When completed, the hotel expansion is expected to bring 50 permanent hotel jobs to the Potawatomi Casino & Hotel. The property is renowned for being one of the top-25 employers in the Milwaukee area already, with nearly 2,700 current employees. The new expansion project will also bring additional revenue to the city. Over the past decade the property has submitted over $100 million in sharing payments to the city of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County over the past decade.
“The Forest County Potawatomi have committed to investing in Milwaukee. This next addition is one more example of that commitment,” said Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Chief Operating Officer Rodney Ferguson in a statement. “Aside from accommodating our guests, the project will create hundreds of jobs on the construction site and dozens of permanent positions within the hotel.”
Ferguson also expressed Potawatomi’s interest in adding the additional 60 suites is an attempt to prioritize casino guests and their experience. By adding the new amenities, the casino will be able to establish itself as a destination four tourists across the country. This coincides with the increasing shift in the global casino industry from a traditional casino to a resort-style or destination casino.
The Potawatomi Hotel & Casino opened in 1991 and was originally a bingo hall. Over the years the property underwent a series of expansions that made it the most visited entertainment destination in Wisconsin today. The hotel and casino attracts more than 6 million visitors each year, with 2,500 slot machines, nearly 100 table games, a 1,300-seat bingo hall, seven restaurants and a 500-seat theater.