To open in July

Full House gets Waukegan's first official approval for temporary American Place casino in illinois

Rendering for the permanent American Place resort in Waukegan, Illinois
Reading time 2:13 min

Full House Resorts has received endorsement from the Waukegan Planning & Zoning Commission for a temporary casino in Lake County, Illinois. The commission unanimously recommended the council approve the site plan for the temporary American Place casino during a public hearing on Thursday at City Hall.

With the recommendation going to the council, the aldermen are to vote on the site plan on March 21, reports Chicago Tribune. Full House revealed last month plans of opening a tent-like temporary casino named The Temporary by American Place as it undergoes development of the permanent American Place casino resort in Waukegan.

The Nevada-based casino developer and operator is targeting July for the opening of the temporary casino. For this purpose, the business announced the purchase of a tent structure from Sprung Structures, which has an area “of approximately 1.5 football fields.”

“I’m excited,” said Alex Stolyar, Full House’s senior vice president and chief development officer. “I appreciate the recommendation. I’m always happy with a unanimous positive vote.” He expects, once all approvals are complete, for construction to start by the end of the month.

The temporary and permanent casinos will be located on 28 acres of city-owned land bordering the Fountain Square shopping center. Last month, Full House revealed it entered into an agreement to purchase about 10 acres of land adjoining the nearly 30-acre casino site to be leased from the city, thus providing space for additional parking and access from major roads.

The temporary 75,000-square-foot tent-like structure is set to open by July. It was described at the Thursday meeting as a white, high-tension, windowless building that can go up “quickly,” according to Chicago Tribune. Commissioners pointed out the temporary casino does not have the polish of a permanent resort, looking more like “a warehouse.”

The Temporary by American place will include approximately 1,000 slot machines, 50 table games, a fine-dining restaurant, two additional restaurants, and a center bar, according to company statements. The venue is set to not interfere with the permanent development when construction starts later this year.

Full House officials assured commissioners the traffic, parking and signage all complied with city regulations and defended the temporary casino’s look, stating they “typically” do not have windows. Stolyar said landscaping would add to the appearance of the temporary structure while the permanent resort is built over the next two to three years.

The Planning & Zoning Commission approval arrives as Full House is set to launch six career fairs this month, starting on Tuesday, in order to begin interviewing applicants for available jobs at The Temporary. The company expects to hire about 700 people for the temporary casino and up to 1,800 for the permanent facility, with an emphasis on local people.

The permanent American Place project in Waukegan is expected to cost about $400 million. The gaming and entertainment destination is slated to include a world-class casino with a state-of-the-art sportsbook, according to an earlier press release.

Moreover, the venue will feature a premium boutique hotel, comprising 20 luxurious villas, each ranging from 1,500 to 2,500 square feet with full butler service; a 1,500-seat live entertainment venue; a gourmet restaurant; additional eateries and bars; and other amenities. The second phase of American Place is expected to include a four-star hotel with 150 rooms.

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