Verona, NY – Turning Stone Resort Casino is about to embark on its biggest expansion project since opening in 1993.
The project, which will be completed over a period of several years, will nearly double the convention and conference space at the resort owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, while adding a new hotel, dining options and other amenities.
All additions will be located on the existing 1,600-acre Turning Stone campus, just off New York State Highway Exit 33 in Verona. The new 250-room hotel will rival the size of the existing hotel called The Tower, which is among the tallest buildings in the state between Albany and Buffalo. But the new hotel is not necessarily a skyscraper.
The first groundbreaking is scheduled for 2023.
The project will focus on Turning Stone’s convention and conference capabilities, which are already operating near capacity, national officials said. Existing hotels and accommodations are usually full, and conferences and other events are booked out years in advance.
This expansion does not include any additions to the full-service casino gaming operations.
“Today, we are experiencing record demand for hosting conferences and other events at Turning Stone that far exceeds our current hotel and convention facilities,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida Indian Nation Representative and CEO. of Oneida Nation Enterprises, in a press release. “This massive, multi-year expansion project will help us meet this growing need and even greater demand in the future.”
The Oneidas did not give an estimate of the cost of the project, but its scope will be greater than any other major improvements made to Turning Stone over the past two decades.
The construction will generate hundreds of jobs, the nation said, and the completed project will allow Oneida Nation Enterprises to increase its existing workforce, which currently stands at around 4,400 people.
The Oneidas chose Gensler, a San Francisco-based architecture and design firm, to work on the expansion. His work has included destinations such as downtown Las Vegas, the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center near Washington, DC, and Walt Disney World’s Swan Reserve.
The Turning Stone project is still in its early stages, so there are no architectural drawings or renderings yet. Many details are still being worked out.
In the Oneida Indian Nation press release, the project has been well received by elected officials and economic development officials in the region, including Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente, Verona City Supervisor, Scott Musacchio, Mohawk Valley Edge President Steven DiMeo, and CenterState President and CEO Rob Simpson.
“At a time when many businesses are postponing or canceling investments, the Oneida Indian Nation is moving forward with a major expansion at Turning Stone that will create well-paying jobs for hundreds of our members and support the continued growth of our region. ,” Greg Lancette, president of the Central/Northern Building Trades Council, said in the statement. “Our motto has always been that if the Oneida Indian Nation can dream it, we can build it. We are honored to once again play a part in making those dreams come true. “
Turning Stone opened in 1993 and originally included a hotel and bingo hall. After the Oneidas signed a gambling contract with the state, it became a full-service casino, with slots, table games, and a poker room, plus other amenities like cardrooms. concerts, golf courses and spas.
Previous major expansion projects included building the existing hotel tower and events center some 20 years ago. In 2013, several dining and nightlife venues were added in what is known as the Exit 33 wing.
Last year, the resort launched a multi-million project that included renovations to its restaurants, including the newly reformatted 7 Kitchens buffet, its retail spaces and upgrades to its showroom.
Earlier this year, the Oneidas unveiled the Villages at Stoney Creek, a $15 million onsite residential community for employees.
Turning Stone frequently appears on lists of the area’s top resorts, including a four-star rating from Forbes.
In addition to Turning, Oneida Nation Enterprises operates two other full-service casinos, YBR in Chittenango and Point Place in Bridgeport. Other businesses include The Lake House and The Cove in Sylvan Beach, as well as Maple Leaf Markets and SāvOn convenience stores in the area.