Potawatomi Hotel & Casino announces $100M renovation project

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MILWAUKEE (CBS 58) -- Potawatomi's paying big for upcoming renovations to Milwaukee's hotel and casino.

As Chicago gets ready to welcome a billion-dollar casino and entertainment venue, Potawatomi's trying to keep up, throwing $100 million at its Milwaukee location.

"This is just a little bit of tap on the pedal to get ready for, we know that Illinois' competition is coming. We want to keep up with the Jones," said Dominic Ortiz, CEO and general manager of Potawatomi Hotel and Casino. 

The renovation's all on the third floor. That's the skywalk entrance connecting the parking garage with the casino. 

"You'll have over 1,800 slot machines and 12-plus table games, plus the restaurants and the high limit luxury first class room right in the center of all of it," said Ortiz. 

The facelift covers 120,000-square feet of space. 

"The remodel really starts at those doors, comes to this corridor and what you've got now is this open concept and this half wall comes down," said Ortiz.

While a $100 million remodel brings with it much change, Potawatomi plans to keep some things the same.

"This setup and this theme is really a part of it, and we have, our owners really put in a sense of culture in the traditional Algonquin designs that you will see mixed within the property in this expansion," said Ortiz.

Potawatomi opened with Bingo in Menomonee Valley in 1991. Slots were added a year later. Now, slots remain, but Bingo's been on hold since Covid. 

"We got a plan that at some point in time here, as we go through the master plan, to find a place. Bingo has always been here. It will come back to Potawatomi Hotel and Casino," said Ortiz.

Players seem excited for the $100 million facelift, but one man said it's not necessary.

"No, I don't think so. I don't think so. They got enough as it is. They taking enough people money. They don't need nothing else," said Willie Byrd, of Milwaukee.

"I think that's just super," said Milwaukeean Ellie Walker. "That really is."

"But I think they need some promotions to get more people down here. You want a free meal, you know, something to lessen the blow of losing," said Frederick Strong, of Chicago.

Potawatomi Hotel & Casino is also welcoming two brand new food and beverage options sure to get guests’ attention.

Rock & Brews, the restaurant brainchild of legendary musicians Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons from the group KISS, will open its newest location at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino located just off the skywalk as gusts enter the property. Rock & Brews “provides a superior dining experience with a Rock ‘n’ Roll twist.” As the name suggests there will also be a large variety of local and craft beers, and will include a stage where live music will be performed. A groundbreaking for the new restaurant will take place at 3 p.m. Wednesday, May 11, with Stanley and Simmons scheduled to appear.

Starbucks Coffee will make its debut at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, across from Rock & Brews off the skywalk entrance. It will be a full-service Starbucks location with both beverage and food options.

The property will also open three new “quick service” food and beverage stations where guests can grab a bite or have food delivered to their gaming station. A new gift/convenience shop will also provide an array of amenities.

Another big note is about the sports book venue people have been waiting on. Potawatomi says it will be here this fall.

Construction on the renovation project is scheduled for completion by the spring of 2023.

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