A work in progressPublished 9:49pm Wednesday, June 26, 2013
The much-anticipated grand opening of a new entertainment complex housing a movie theater, a bowling alley and an arcade is less than two months away and officials at Wind Creek say they are delighted to be unveiling something they hope will appeal to an entirely different demographic from what they currently attract.
“We’re very proud of our casino, but we’re excited about something that will be more fun for the family,” Michael A. Perhaes, vice president of marketing for Wind Creek, said. “This will give us a resort destination right here in Atmore, Alabama that is world class. People who don’t necessarily want to be part of the gaming aspect and families with children can visit us and have more than plenty to do without ever even stepping foot in the casino.”
Wednesday, PCI officials gave The Advance a sneak peak behind the scenes of construction on the new center, which will include an eight-screen movie theater, arcade, a 16-lane bowling alley and restaurant and sports bar. A yogurt and coffee shop is also included in the plans, as is a non-smoking gaming lounge set apart in a private room.
Mark Vaughn, entertainment theater director, said the lounge is meant to give adults looking to play machines an alternative to the main floor that will also be set apart from the hustle and bustle of the entertainment complex proper.
“It’s all non-smoking and it will house 110 games,” Vaughn said. “It’s completely self-contained. Minors will not be allowed in and you will have access to the same service as the gaming floor. This is going to be so nice we’re going to have to redo our Gold Lounge (inside the casino).”
While the private gaming lounge can offer a reprieve for adults looking for some quiet time, the rest of the complex will be bursting at the seems with activity and fun for all ages, Vaughn said.
Walking through the open expanse of concrete and metal that will become the new complex in only about eight weeks, Vaughn pointed excitedly here and there, explaining what each spot in the construction site would soon become. He pointed out the area that will soon be a self-serve yogurt shop complete with an array of toppings. Next to that, a coffee and smoothie shop. A few feet down the concrete corridor and Vaughn points to an area he says will house a 45-game arcade.
“The arcade will not be using cash games,” Vaughn said. “It will have a card that can be reloaded, kind of similar to the Club cards we use in the casino.”
Vaughn said arcade players will also receive tickets from the games that can be turned in at the counter for prizes.
While Vaughn expects the arcade to be a hit with kids and teenagers, he said the parents and other adults will also have plenty to within eye or earshot of the arcade, including a restaurant serving hamburgers and pizzas cooked fresh on site and a sports bar complete with a jumbotron-type television and two pool tables.
“We will serve pizza and hamburgers and food like that. For the pizza we have our very own pizza oven,” he said. “We won’t be pulling dough out of a freezer. They’re making it right here. In the bar we’re going to have a garage door that opens up to the outside when it’s cool out and nine, 36-inch screens that will come together to form one large image.”
Vaughn said the bowling alley will include 16 lanes, with four located inside a party room, giving guests interested in private parties a chance to bowl only with those in their group.
“We’re also going to have cosmic bowling with the black lights and that sort of thing,” he said.
Possibly the biggest draw for the new complex, an eight-screen movie theater, will also be equipped with two party rooms, Vaughn said. Vaughn said the rooms will be available for rent by themselves or in addition to the theater they are attached to, allowing for the possibility of private screenings should a party choose to go in that direction.
Vaughn said the eight theaters vary in capacity from around 90 in the smallest to over 200 in the largest and several are also equipped with 3D capabilities.
“It’s all digital here,” Vaughn said. “And the theaters are located in one specific area so you can enjoy your movie and forget that the rest of the complex is out there and full of people.”
“This really changes the definition of this hotel,” Perhaes said following the tour. “It changes the flow of this town.”
Vaughn said the complex will bring 102 new jobs to Atmore with some positions available to job seekers as young as 16.
While a hard date for the complex’s opening has not yet been announced by PCI, Vauhn and Perhaes said they expect the facility to be fully operational for an August opening. Meanwhile, Vaughn said, the private gaming room will be open for the Fourth of July Holiday.
Scheduled hours of operation for the soon-to-be-opened complex include: Strikes Bowling Alley – 10 a.m. through10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 10 a.m. until midnight, Friday and Saturday; cinema – 1p.m. through 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 1 p.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday; Overtime Restaurant and Bar – 11 a.m. through 10 p.m., Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. until midnight Friday and Saturday (bar closed on Sunday).
For more information on the new entertainment complex, visit www.windcreek360.com