ecent renovations have given Mayetta’s Prairie Band Casino and Resort an “entirely new look and feel,” making it more welcoming and customer friendly, says general manager Bill Marsh.
Marsh talked Friday about how the Prairie Band improved its gaming floor and hotel lobby, transforming the latter into a comfortable place for social gatherings by adding a new coffee shop and a new bar.
“2018 marks our 20th anniversary, and we’re thrilled to celebrate our special birthday with a refresh of our look for our guests,” he said.
The renovations mark the first phase of an ongoing major expansion aimed at making the Prairie Band more of an “all-inclusive resort destination experience,” said Marsh, a veteran of 19 years in the gaming industry who has been at the Prairie Band since June.
The full expansion, set to be completed in 2020, will include renovation of the existing Buffalo Grill into a 24-hour bar and grill and the addition of a 500-space parking garage, a new hotel tower with 75 rooms, a spa, and indoor and outdoor swimming pools and hot tubs, the Prairie Band said this week in a news release.
The 30-month, $55 million project was approved last January by the Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation tribal members who own and oversee the casino and resort.
Work on the first phase began July 9 and was completed Oct. 10, Marsh said. The contractor and design company was Tacoma, Wash.-based I-5 Design and Build. Work on the second phase is to begin early next year.
Judy Hartley, the Prairie Band’s chief financial officer, showed off the renovations to reporters on Friday. She said they included redesigning the gaming area to create a brighter atmosphere, as well as creating a winding path through it.
“Using the Prairie Band Fire Eagle logo as an inspiration, much of the design through the gaming floor uses the colors red and yellow in the lightning, signage, carpet, wall treatments and detailing,” the Prairie Band news release said.
The casino and resort also created a more spacious and welcoming atmosphere in the dining area for its buffet by opening up additional seating, Hartley said.
The new setup will put an end to past situations in which customers sometimes felt like they were “tucked back in a corner,” she said.
Renovations have changed the hotel lobby from a site where patrons mostly lounged on couches into a vibrant gathering place featuring a dark wood ceiling, stone pillars, metal railings, red and yellow sconces and a contemporary tile floor.
The new Kapi Coffee Bar — with “kapi” being the Potawatomi word for coffee — will offer a full-service espresso bar, iced coffee, smoothies, fresh-squeezed juices and bottled beverages, as well as pastries and hand-crafted sandwiches, the Prairie Band news release said.
It said the bar and lounge area features flat-screen TVs and a 20-seat bar where craft beers, cocktails and bar food are among items available for purchase.
Prairie Band will hold a public celebration from noon to 9 p.m. Saturday of completion of the first phase of the expansion.
Entertainment, drawings and complimentary food will be available for all guests from noon to 4 p.m. at the Grand Entrance, near the Bingo Hall toward the west end of the casino, and from 4 to 9 p.m. in the hotel lobby, said Prairie Band marketing director John Tuckwin.