Fort Hall Casino expansion expected to be completed by the end of November
FORT HALL — The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes recently announced the Fort Hall Casino expansion is expected to be completed by the end of November.
The new casino amenities are an expansion to the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center.
Last week, Chairman Nathan Small and several members of the Fort Hall Business Council toured the casino expansion site and met with the project’s general contractor, Big-D Construction Corp., for a monthly update on the Phase II Casino project. Topics discussed included construction management, compliance and workforce status, TERO coordination, procurement status, tribal gaming coordination meetings and financial updates.
Senior Vice President of Big-D Construction Tom Harrison said, “We are confident and support our trades for this construction project. We have over 120 trade workers at the construction site. We are not rushing the job but looking at quality. We have doubled our working crews and they are on the job site daily from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and will start working Saturday shifts. We have masonry and painters presently working the exterior on Saturdays and are looking at potential nightshift work as a reserve to meet our opening date at the end of November.”
TERO Project Compliance Specialist Lenora Lavatta provided an update on working closely with the construction management team to provide the needed workforce from the tribal community.
Lavatta said, “There has been a request of specialty work that requires a specialty workforce, this includes the interior lighting fixtures, wall paper applicators, etc. We are re-vamping the TERO Apprenticeship program and recently enrolled 22 apprentices in the fields of HVAC, electrical, plumbing and carpentry. We will continue to work with Big-D on identifying a workforce to complete the project.”
According to an information sheet provided by Big-D Construction, the project currently has an average of 90-plus workers on-site daily and is working closely with TERO to continue to fulfill the needed manpower.
The new casino project adds a state-of-the-art, 85,000-square-foot casino that will add amenities — including a 258-seat bingo hall, a new buffet restaurant called The Painted Horse, a 24-hour Deka Gahni Deli and a new lounge called The Stampede — to the Tribes’ existing Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center. These added amenities will add more job opportunities in the Fort Hall community, which has an unemployment rate of around 47 percent, according to the 2010 Census. The entire Southeast Idaho region will benefit from the added jobs and economic activity generated by the casino expansion Project.