Construction to begin soon for Potawatomi casino hotel

A groundbreaking ceremony was held last week and actual construction work will begin soon for the 20-story, 381-room hotel at Potawatomi Bingo Casino in the Menomonee Valley in Milwaukee.

“We will no longer be one of the few casinos without a hotel,” said Mike Goodrich, general manager of the casino. “A casino without a hotel is like a brat without a bun.”

The hotel will cost about $150 million to build and will open in the summer of 2014, according to the casino. A name for the hotel has not been announced yet.

The hotel amenities will include a spa and exercise area, a casual-dining restaurant, a lobby bar/lounge and meeting space. The hotel will be at 3 ½ star quality, according to the casino. The project also includes a new parking structure.

There will be “two spectacular suites” on the top two floors of the hotel, Goodrich said. The two Presidential Suites will be located at the north ends of the Potawatomi Hotel’s 19th and 20th floors. Each suite will span the entire width of the tower and provide views of Lake Michigan, downtown Milwaukee and the west.

Greenfire Management is the construction manager for the project. Gilbane is the general contractor. Cuningham Group Architecture Inc. designed the hotel.

The “financing partners” for the project “have been arranged by PNC Bank,” Goodrich said. A spokesman for the casino declined to provide additional details on the project’s financing.

The hotel will create 230 permanent jobs. Currently 2,600 people work at the casino. The construction of the hotel is expected to create 995 jobs, according to the casino.

The hotel will also have several environmentally-friendly “green” features including the use of recycled products and materials during construction and energy efficient mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems.

“We take very seriously our traditions of respecting the Earth,” Goodrich said.
The hotel, unlike the casino, will be smoke-free.

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