Vendor outreach event

Illinois: Full House seeks minority and women-owned vendors for Waukegan casino project

Rendering for American Place in Waukegan, Illinois.
Reading time 2:23 min

Casino developer and operator Full House Resorts and construction services business Turner Construction Company conducted a vendor outreach event aimed at minority- and women-owned businesses last Tuesday for the development of both the temporary and permanent American Place casino in Waukegan, Illinois.

The event was held at American Place’s newly opened Waukegan office, less than a mile from the future 42-acre site of the venue. Meeting with representatives of Full House and Turner were 38 people, 14 of them women and others, reports Chicago Tribune.

Illinois officials had previously stated they wanted to see part of the work on the projects go to minority- and women-owned businesses. However, Alex Stolyar, Full House’s senior vice president and chief development officer, said it is also part of the company’s philosophy, one which the business is seeking to bring to American Place, its first venue in the state.

“The philosophy is part of the way we do business. We’re getting the word out,” Stolyar said, according to the cited source. Full House has set goals of employing at least 25% minority-owned businesses as subcontractors, 5% women-owned, 3% owned by veterans, and 2% owned by disabled individuals.

The executive has expressed hopes construction on the temporary facility could start in April, targeting an opening by July. The company has secured unanimous approval from the Waukegan City Council for the site plan for the temporary casino. However, Full House still required building permits and approval of the Illinois Gaming Board.

The business intends to build a tent-like temporary casino named The Temporary by American Place as it undergoes the development of the permanent American Place casino resort. Both the temporary and permanent casinos will be located on city-owned land bordering the Fountain Square shopping center.

In a prior City Council meeting, the temporary 75,000-square-foot structure was described as a white, high-tension, windowless building that can go up “quickly.” 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.

For now, Stolyar said general contractor for the casino Turner Construction is concentrating on finding subcontractors to help erect the temporary casino, while design plans are still being crafted for the entire project. The executive stated he is uncertain when construction will start on the permanent facility, reports Chicago Tribune.

The company is also putting a strong focus on hiring local people for the construction process, which has been welcomed by unions representing workers in Lake County. While some potential subcontractors asked to know when detailed plans for the permanent resort would be ready for bidding, Stolyar said he could not provide a date yet.

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 100,000 square foot 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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