New York: Turning Stone to expand next year

New York: Turning Stone to expand next year

  • David McKee, CDC Gaming Reports
September 7, 2022 6:27 PM
  • David McKee, CDC Gaming Reports
  • New York
  • Tribal Gaming

A 2023 groundbreaking is anticipated for a major construction project at Turning Stone Resort Casino in upstate New York. The goal is to double the hotel-casino’s conference-and-convention footprint. To further support this, Turning Stone will erect a second hotel tower of 250 rooms. The expansion, of as-yet-unspecified cost, will also involve the creation of new amenities and dining venues. No enlargement of the casino itself has been announced.

“Today we are experiencing record demand for hosting conferences and other events at Turning Stone that far outpaces our current hotel and convention facilities. This extensive multi-year expansion project will help us meet this rising need and even greater demand in the future,” Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter explained. “Our 30-year track record has proven that investments like this are essential to sustain the growth and success of our enterprises and the entire region.”

The Gensler architectural firm, which molded Las Vegas’ CityCenter, has been tapped to reshape Turning Stone and the multi-year construction will be in the hands of general contractor Hayner Hoyt out of Syracuse. Turning Stone has vowed to use an all-union workforce on the enlargement. The Oneida Nation is embarking on this ambitious project before a new compact has been negotiated with Gov. Kathy Hochul (D), a compact which has been a contentious issue between Hochul and the Oneida much of late. The tribe’s press release pointedly stated, “Over the last three decades, the Oneida Indian Nation has invested more than $1 billion in Central New York.”

“As we begin our largest reinvestment in two decades, we embark upon a new chapter for our enterprises, ensuring that we remain one of the top event and tourism destinations in New York for decades to come,” added Halbritter.

His enthusiasm was echoed by Oneida County Executive Ray Vicente, who said, “As one of the largest employers and key contributors for investments that bring millions of visitors to Central New York every year, the Oneida Indian Nation has been a critical driver in the economic development of Oneida County. This latest investment … expands on this partnership and, along with the Nexus Center, continues our shared goal for the revitalization of Oneida County. We know that when the Oneida Indian Nation does well, Oneida County does well, and the expansion of Turning Stone will help grow this success with increased tourism, new jobs and more.”

More specifically, Verona Town Supervisor Scott Musacchio remarked that the ongoing partnership between his town and the Oneida had resulted in such upgrades and new water-and-sewer infrastructure for new-employee domiciles within the Nation and new jobs in Verona itself. He concluded, “Turning Stone’s expansion will continue this partnership, injecting significant investment into our local economy and further establishing Verona as a world-class destination for tourism, conventions and more.”

CDC Gaming Reports sought further details and commentary from the Oneida Nation but had not received to response as of press time.