Wind Creek Chicago Southland Pacing for Late Summer 2024 Opening
Posted on: November 13, 2023, 10:44h.
Last updated on: November 14, 2023, 09:12h.
Wind Creek Chicago Southland is on pace to open sometime late next summer, officials with the company behind the development say.
Wind Creek Hospitality is the commercial gaming unit of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, a federally recognized tribe based in Alabama. In late 2021, the Illinois Gaming Board awarded Wind Creek the state’s lone gaming concession allocated for Chicago’s South Suburbs.
Wind Creek Chicago Southland began constructing the $300 million casino resort in East Hazel Crest in June 2022.
The development includes a 70,000-square-foot casino with 1,350 slot machines, 56 table games, and a sportsbook. The resort will feature a 16-story, 252-room hotel with an indoor pool, a fitness center, a spa, an entertainment and events center, and an array of dining options.
Chicago Casinos in Development
Speaking recently with the Chicago Tribune, Wind Creek Chicago Southland Executive Vice President and General Manager Roger Kuehn said construction is progressing on schedule. Kuehn said a topping out of the hotel is expected in the coming weeks.
“It is still kind of a dart throw, but I would expect sometime in the third quarter of 2024. I think that is a fair timeline,” Kuehn said in reference to the July through September period.
Wind Creek Chicago Southland will soon begin a hiring spree, as the forthcoming casino and resort will be expected to employ about 800 workers.
Illinois lawmakers in 2019 passed a Chicago-area gaming bill. Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) signed the measure designed to generate new tax revenue for infrastructure.
The gaming package included five suburban casino licenses, with one each earmarked for Danville, Rockford, South Suburbs, Waukegan, and Williamson County. A sixth casino was authorized for the downtown Chicago area, with Bally’s now building a $1.7 billion integrated resort at the Freedom Center.
The $100 million Golden Nugget Danville opened in May with 500 slot machines and 15 table games. Hard Rock International is investing $358 million to construct the permanent Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Rockford. A temporary casino opened in November 2021.
In Waukegan, Full House Resorts is spending $400 million to build its American Place Casino Resort. It opened a provisional gaming space in February of this year. And in Williamson County, the Walker’s Bluff Casino Resort from Boyd Gaming opened this past August for $147 million.
Wind Creek has pledged the South Suburbs to be a strong community partner, something the company has demonstrated in other markets where it operates.
In its native Alabama, Wind Creek operates three Class I and II tribal casinos: Wind Creek Atmore, Wind Creek Montgomery, and Wind Creek Wetumpka. In 2019, the company covered the funeral expenses for all 23 victims of a deadly tornado. The casino company also made a $25K donation to a church damaged by the tornado, though the congregation returned the money on moral grounds.
In Pennsylvania, where Wind Creek owns and operates Wind Creek Bethlehem, a commercial casino acquired from Las Vegas Sands in 2019 for $1.3 billion, the company provided thousands of its workers with stimulus checks to offset inflation last year.
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