Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in the Menomonee Valley broke ground Thursday to celebrate the start of construction for its second hotel tower, a 19-story addition that will expand the property by 180,000 square feet.
[caption id="attachment_318912" align="alignright" width="316"] Rendering of the expanded Potawatomi hotel.[/caption]
See a video of the groundbreaking ceremony from WISN-TV Channel 12, a media partner of BizTimes Milwaukee.
The $80 million project will add 119 rooms and suites to the 381-room hotel, bringing the total room count to 500 and making it the second largest hotel in the city.
The hotel will also feature a spa and additional meeting space. It is expected to open in the spring of 2019.
“The fact that you went from zero (rooms) to the number two in a couple of years is amazing,” said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett. “Maybe in a couple of years you can do a third tower.”
The second hotel tower at the casino will be attached to the 19-story, 381-room hotel tower that was built at the casino in 2014.
The project is being done without any assistance from the city of Milwaukee. The contractor for the project is Gilbane Building Company.
Rodney Ferguson, Potawatomi’s chief executive officer and general manager, said the tower is another example of the casino’s growth in the community.
“We started as a 40,000-square-foot bingo hall here in 1991 and have grown to be the largest entertainment destination in the state,” Ferguson said.
Barrett praised the Forest County Potawatomi Community Thursday for its commitment to hiring a diverse workforce and residents of the city.
“Now is the time more than ever to find what unites us as much as what divides us,” Barrett said. “At your core, you believe we are all human beings and you are making stronger families in Milwaukee with family-sustaining jobs.”
[caption id="attachment_337199" align="aligncenter" width="504"] Ground breaking at Potawatomi[/caption]