Additional $2.9 million project to provide landscaping makeover near 3rd Street
Officials with the Seneca Nation of Indians and Seneca Gaming Corp. today unveiled plans to completely renovate the 88,000-square-foot main gaming floor at Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel. Niagara Falls' premier gaming destination will undergo a $26 million transformation, enhancing everything from the sights and sounds guests experience to the air they breathe.
The main gaming floor - nearly the size of two acres or American football fields - will soon feature a completely new look and layout. As part of the project, Seneca Gaming Corp. will invest $6 million toward a new HVAC system to greatly improve air quality throughout the casino.
The project represents the first major renovation of the original casino since 2002, when the Seneca Nation transformed the former Niagara Falls Convention Center into Seneca Niagara Casino in the span of 100 days. Since that time, the property has added a 26-story, AAA Four Diamond Award-winning hotel, additional gaming space, restaurants and additional amenities - making it a full-service destination resort.
"The evolution of this property in the heart of downtown Niagara Falls from a site of urban decay to one bustling with activity stands as a testament to quality, which is what our guests demand and that is exactly what the Seneca name stands for," said Barry E. Snyder Sr., president of the Seneca Nation of Indians. "Now it is time to go back to the original casino and breathe new life into the place where it all started."
The $26 million project will take place in several phases and will be completed in a virtually seamless fashion, with minimal disruption to guests. SOSH Architects, one of the nation's premier gaming and hospitality architects, will oversee the design while Seneca Construction Management Corp. will work with local contractors to perform the work. Altogether, the project will create 300 jobs, including 80,000 hours of work with 120 construction workers on site during peak times.
"This project adds to the record of investment and job creation we have established in completing more than $1 billion in construction projects over the past 11 years," said Kevin W. Seneca, chairman of the Seneca Gaming Corp. board of directors. "These impressive facilities are designed to enhance the experience for our guests and provide an attractive environment to help draw visitors to Western New York."
One of the biggest upgrades will be something that guests will not necessarily see, but will definitely notice. Nearly $6 million will be invested toward completely updating the existing HVAC systems as well as adding new air handling units and ductwork to greatly improve the air quality within the casino. The new air supply units, roof-mounted exhaust system and ceiling-mounted ductwork distribution will bring abundant outside air into the casino.
Another major investment will be the demolition of Club 101 at the center of the gaming floor and the creation of an entirely new feature bar and live entertainment stage in the southwest corner. The area will be furnished with a dance floor, lounge seats, a circular bar with 20 tabletop video gaming units and a whopping 40-by-20 feet high-definition jumbo video wall that rivals those at professional sports venues.
In the casino, guests will see a different layout and an entirely new interior design. New carpet, with a dramatic design and rich colors of deep red and gold, will fill the entire area. Thousands of slot machines will have new bases and luxurious chairs. Along the central gaming floor path from the hotel to the 4th Street entrance, crews will install up to 12 monumental tree-like structures.
The perimeter of the room will also change. The west entrance will be widened to create an open and more welcoming experience. A larger, brighter promotions booth will be created in the southeast corner of the gaming floor and will include more stations for improved interaction and fewer lines. The bar at the entrance to the recently renovated Thunder Falls Buffet will expand - creating space for a brand-new Keno Bar. Four new high-tech data closets will be tucked away at each of the room's corners, providing the ability to integrate new gaming technologies in future years.
Construction will also take place outdoors, as crews will work into 2014 on a separate $2.9 million project to provide a garden makeover to Seneca Square, the land between the casino and 3rd Street. The pedestrian bridge will look especially different, as beautiful gardens and landscaping - carrying the Seneca theme - will be added along with benches and informational signage that will make the space a prime picture-taking destination.
"As the summer tourist season gets into full swing, there will be thousands of visitors making their way through the downtown area. We want to give them a memorable first impression and invite them to take a moment to enjoy the beauty of these gardens as they continue their visit," said Cathy Walker, president and CEO, Seneca Gaming Corp. "We believe very strongly in connecting with our community and neighbors and hope that this garden will make a strong contribution to the growing energy taking shape in downtown Niagara Falls."
Visit www.SenecaCasinos.com for more information.