By Melinda Stottsmstotts@miaminewsrecord.com, Decenber 16, 2016
WYANDOTTE – Rising seven floors, the tip-top of the framework was laid in place of the Eastern Shawnee Tribe’s expansion of a second tower at Indigo Sky Casino. A “Topping Off Ceremony” took place Thursday morning with a large crowd in attendance to celebrate the occasion.
The management of Indigo Sky Casino greeted and thanked those assembled for the traditional iron topping off ceremony.
“This is a monumental occasion,” Eastern Shawnee Chief Glenna Wallace said.
The $36 million addition to the existing gaming facility, Indigo Sky Casino, broke ground on June 6. The expansion project is currently ahead of the construction schedule and is expected to be completed by late July of next year.
“My mother was secretary/treasurer of this tribe. My mother’s birthday would have been three days ago. She would have been 103 years of age. She died at the age of 90,” Wallace said. “I regret that she isn’t able to see what has happened here because it’s people like my mother, and people and chiefs whose shoulders we stand upon, who have made this possible for us. When my mother was secretary/treasurer for this tribe our entire yearly budget was $50 a year.”
Wallace said the sacrifice of tribal members for the betterment of the tribe has been the foundation for the tribe’s successful ventures.
“They had dreams. Without those dreams, without holding this tribe together, we wouldn’t be here today,” she said. “We stand here, one generation later, and there is no way that when I first began to serve on the business Committee, which would have been 28 years ago, there is no way that I could have begun to fathom the progress that we would make and what would happen to this tribe. So it truly is a day of celebration.”
Not only will the Indigo Sky expansion add opportunities for business and event use, but it will also add 45 casino employees and 250 construction jobs throughout the project to completion.
The new facility will add 127 hotel rooms for a total of 244 rooms at Indigo Sky, including two to three Bay suites, each located on the sixth and seventh floor.
A restaurant expansion of the Shawanoe Restaurant will increase seating by 100, expand the buffet area, and add a new banquet kitchen.
Adding to the facility’s amenities, a new Banquet/Event space is included with seating of up to 600 is part of the new expansion. The new ballroom will have the capacity to break into five areas for events and concerts. An additional two meeting rooms, plus a boardroom with four meeting rooms in the existing tower at Indigo Sky, will greatly enhance the ability of the facility to host a variety of affairs.
Indigo Sky Casino now includes three food venues, two bars, banquet space, 1,275 gaming machines, 117 hotel rooms, a pool, poker, Off Track Betting, table games and Bingo, and employs 650.
Wallace told those gathered, the tribe started its first Bingo Hall in 1984.
“It was important to us to keep our name and to let people know that we were a tribe that would stand behind our word, and we would do what was ethical,” she said.
Wallace said any mistakes the tribe may have made have been far outweighed by successes. The Eastern Shawnee Chief gave a lesson in the symbolism and meaning of the celebratory construction ‘Topping Out Ceremony.”