he gambling venue hopes to attract more upscale customers with a revamped pavilion and gaming vessel, and the addition of a piano bar, steakhouse and coffee shop, the casino's owner, Penn National Gaming Inc., said in a news release. The Illinois Gaming Board decided earlier this year to allow the company to retain the casino.
The Friedmutter Group has been hired as the architect for the project, and W.E. O'Neil Construction Co. has been hired as the general contractor, officials said. The Illinois Gaming Board must approve the plans.
The renovations will begin in January and are expected to be completed late next year. Construction will be carried out in phases so the casino will not close. Penn National Gaming also owns the Argosy Alton Casino east of St. Louis and the Hollywood Casino in Aurora. The Empress Casino competes with nearby Harrah's Joliet Casino.