Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Acquires, Rebrands Comfort Inn

Posted on: December 21, 2023, 12:49h. 

Last updated on: January 1, 2024, 12:44h.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort (AMCR), located in New York’s northernmost region along the Canadian border southwest of Montreal, is expanding its property by acquiring a neighboring hotel.

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The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort is seen from the Comfort Inn in Hogansburg, N.Y. The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe this week bought the casino’s neighboring hotel. (Image: New York Department of Economic Development)

Owned and operated by Mohawk Gaming Enterprise, a subsidiary of the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, the casino announced this week its acquisition of the Comfort Inn. The 101-room property shares a parking lot with the casino resort, but has been owned privately by a local commercial conglomerate called Tarbell Management Group.

Tarbell, a family-owned company with ancestral ties to the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, has agreed to sell the Comfort Inn hotel to the Tribe in what the firm said is its ongoing “commitment to self-determination and the empowerment of our community.”

This sale is not just a business transaction,” said Brandon Tarbell, president and CEO. “In entrusting our property to the hands of the Mohawk Gaming Enterprise, we are ensuring that our lands remain under the ownership of those who understand its significance, history, and importance.”

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort already has an on-site hotel called the AMCR Hotel. The $74 million, seven-story facility opened in May 2013 with 150 guest rooms and suites.

Bringing Back Guests

Being just miles from the Canadian border, the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort primarily caters to guests from Canada. The Tribe says it continues to operate below its pre-COVID-19 pandemic conditions.

Expanding its resort footprint with the adjacent hotel and adding 101 occupancies “is part of a broader initiative to recapture our pre-pandemic market,” said AMCR General Manager Scott Freeman.

In addition to more hotel rooms, the Tribe’s purchase of the Comfort Inn includes 18 acres of undeveloped land. The acreage, the Mohawk Gaming Enterprises Board of Managers said in a release, “strengthens” the casino’s position for future development.

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The Comfort Inn at Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort. (Image: Comfort Inn)

The Comfort Inn typically served as casino overflow and for nonresort guests seeking budget-friendly options in the Hogansburg area. The Comfort Inn was well-received by the majority of its guests, as the hotel has a 4.4/5 rating from more than 2,000 stays. The property has high marks for room comfort and cleanliness, staff service, facilities, value, and Wi-Fi.

The Tribe has already included the Comfort Inn rooms on its website. They remain about $10 cheaper per night than similar rooms in the AMCR Hotel at the resort.

Comfort Inn Rebrand

Though the tribe didn’t discuss rebranding the Comfort Inn in its press release, it appears the hotel is being renamed the Player’s Inn. The logo for the hotel includes four playing cards with red suits.

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort New York tribe
The Comfort Inn is rebranded as the Player’s Inn on the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort website. (Image: Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort)

Freeman said the Tribe’s purchase of the hotel won’t result in any job layoffs. The former Comfort Inn team is being welcomed with new employment with the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort.

Today, the Tribe’s sovereign land spans 30,000 acres, extending from New York into Quebec and Ontario. The term Akwesasne refers to the “land where the partridge drums,” which is a reference to the Tribe’s reservation rich in natural resources, including black ash trees, sweet grass, duck, deer, trout, and bass.