PCI Gaming Authority, through its subsidiary Wind Creek Hospitality (WCH), celebrated Thursday the rebranding of its newest casino, Wind Creek Bethlehem (WCB). The celebration comes five months after Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) approved the sale of Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to WCH for a total enterprise value of $1.3 billion. This is the tenth gaming facility operated by PCI Gaming, an authority of the Alabama’s Poarch Band of Creek Indians (PCI).
Wind Creek President and CEO Jay Dorris commented: "Our team has worked to preserve what makes the property a special part of the Bethlehem community while introducing the Wind Creek brand, our Wind Creek Rewards program and our focus towards guest service. We invite everyone to come visit and see why they belong at Wind Creek Bethlehem."
Grand opening festivities included performances by the Poarch Band of Creek Indians Tribal Dancers and a visit by Tribal Princesses. Elected officials and others from the community were welcomed by Tribal Chair Stephanie Bryan and PCI leadership. Other activities included a ribbon-cutting, special gaming promotions and the announcement of WCB's $25,000 Charity Giving Contest winners. Wind Creek Executive Vice President and General Manager Brian Carr announced Via of the Lehigh Valley as the winner of $25,000, and Wind Creek gave the remaining nine nonprofits a prize of $10,000 each.
Wind Creek Bethlehem represents a Las Vegas-style resort located in the heart of the Lehigh Valley of Pennsylvania, approximately 80 miles from New York City. Amenities include a 282-room AAA Four Diamond hotel; a 183,000 square foot casino floor featuring 3,000 slots and electronic table games, and 200 table games; numerous food and beverage outlets including three famed Emeril Lagasse restaurants; a 150,000 square foot retail mall; and a multi-purpose event center.
PCI Tribal Council Member and WCH VP of Business Development Arthur Mothershed remarked: "This is a proud day for our Tribe. We are pleased to be part of the Lehigh Valley community and look forward to continued expansion at this facility and offering additional jobs and economic growth to the surrounding areas."
Tribal Chair Stephanie Bryan said the tribe and Wind Creek will be focused on becoming good neighbors in Bethlehem, planning to build on the legacy Las Vegas Sands Corp. left in the city and to create additional job opportunities beyond the property’s current employment of about 2,360, according to The Morning Call.
WCH anticipates an immediate effort to expand the property to include construction of a 300-room hotel adjacent to the casino. WCH also plans to move forward with the transfromation of the existing Machine Shop 2, which is a third of a mile long, into a 300,000-square-foot adventure and water park that also would include a roughly 400-room hotel.
Arthur Mothershed, Wind Creek’s Vice President of Business Development, said that, conservatively, Wind Creek is probably eight months away from getting the design to the point where it can think about a groundbreaking. He reiterated that Wind Creek has $100 million in financing for the project and hopes to attract partners as it works to secure the remaining $150 million.