Four Winds South Bend will open a hotel at the Indiana Tribal Casino next year

Posted on: June 5, 2022, 10:20 a.m.

Last update on: June 5, 2022, 01:42h.

Indiana’s only tribal casino plans to open its hotel early next year.

Four Winds South Bend
A rendering of the Four Winds Hotel currently under construction at the casino in South Bend, Indiana. Officials of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians expect the 317-room hotel to open early next year. (Image: Four Winds South Bend)

In a statement released late last month, the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians provided an update on the expansion effort at its Four Winds South Bend casino. In addition to a 317-room hotel, the expansion includes a conference center, spa and additional gaming seating.

We are very pleased with the collective efforts of our Four Winds team members, our project manager, construction contractors, site employees and vendors as we work towards the completion of the Four Winds South Bend expansion. », Frank Freedman, COO of Four Winds, said in a statement. “The expanded resort will provide amenities and an entertainment experience not currently available in South Bend and Northwest Indiana.”

The conference center will be called the Ribbon Town Conference and Event Center. Ribbon Town is a nod to what the Pokagon call part of their ancestral territory in northern Indiana, where South Bend is located. The center will have 16 meeting rooms, a ballroom that can accommodate 600 people, two bars, a business center and outdoor gathering space.

The hotel will have 317 rooms including 83 suites.

COVID has delayed the expansion of Four Winds

Tribal leaders announced the hotel’s expansion effort in 2019. At that time, they hoped the work would be completed in two years. However, the COVID-19 pandemic forced a delay on the project.

The work has resulted in 350 construction jobs, 35 of which have a preference for Native Americans. When completed, the expansion will create up to 400 new jobs at the casino.

Currently, Four Winds South Bend has 140,000 square feet of gaming space. This includes 1,400 slot machines and 16 table games. A 45,000 square foot expansion is expected to add 850 new slot machines, 11 additional table games and a high limit area.

With 2,250 slot machines, Four Winds South Bend is said to offer more than any other casino in Indiana. Horseshoe Hammond, near the Indiana-Illinois border, has 1,853, according to the Indiana Gaming Commission.

South Bend, which sits right on the Indiana-Michigan border, is one of four casinos that the Pokagon Band operates in the area. The other three Four Winds casinos are in southwestern Michigan.

Class III games started last August

Four Winds South Bend officially opened in January 2018 and for over three years operated as a Class II facility. This means that it could only offer electronic slot-type bingo games and non-bank poker.

Along with announcing the expansion effort, the Pokagon Band also stated its intent to negotiate a Class III gaming contract with Indiana officials. Tribal leaders and the office of Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb reached an agreement in January 2021, and lawmakers approved the pact that spring.

The compact allows the tribe to offer Las Vegas-style slots and table games such as blackjack, craps, and roulette. The compact also allows the Pokagon Band to operate a sportsbook at the South Bend casino. As part of the compact, the Tribe cannot offer more gaming seats than Indiana’s largest commercial casino. Horseshoe Hammond currently has 3,403 seats.

South Bend Casino officially launched Class III gaming last August.

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