Poarch gaming facility taking shape
Published 8:53 pm Thursday, January 26, 2006
By By Adam Prestridge
If you blinked too quickly, you may have missed the construction of the new Poarch Band of Creek Indians' gaming facility.
Ground was broken in November to make way for the 20,000 square foot building, which has quickly taken shape. In fact, it is set for Grand Opening on Feb. 24.
"Things have went fairly smooth," PCI Tribal Council Treasurer Arthur Mothershed said. "We appear to be on schedule."
The $4.4 million gaming facility will house 592 additional electronic bingo machines and is located next to the Bingo Palace, which has been in operation for 20 years.
"If nothing else, this is going to be an upgrade from the facility we are currently operating at," Mothershed said.
Martin Construction, a local Indian-owned construction company, is overseeing the project. Martin was awarded the contract following a competitive bid process, Mothershed said.
The facility will feature a back operations area, cash room, cashiers booth, cash center and bathroom facility. It will also feature a state-of-the-art heating and air system that should eliminate cigarette smoke.
"Smoke is one of the biggest complaints we receive in the old facility," Mothershed said. "When we started to look at the design of the building, height and floor space was put in to consideration to help as well."
In addition to the new facility, PCI Gaming will also begin a new rewards program for its customers, which allows them to accumulate points to win prizes. A rewards booth will feature prizes that customers can redeem points for.
"It's our way of showing our appreciation to our customers," Mothershed said. "The more you play, the more points you earn and the nicer the prizes get."
Mothershed said the new electronic bingo games will begin being installed a week prior to the scheduled Feb. 24 opening.
"We're planning several promotional type activities to kick off the opening of the new facility," Mothershed said. "There will be a nice gift for signing up for our rewards program."
In addition to the new gaming facility, construction on a new Subway restaurant is slated to begin next week. Mothershed said he hopes the sandwich shop will open the same day as the new gaming facility.
Several renovations have already been made to the Bingo Palace including fresh coats of paint inside and outside and new carpet. A hallway with a glass storefront will connect the two facilities.
The new gaming facility not only offers customers additional gaming opportunities and PCI Gaming added income, but has also created more than 100 new jobs for residents of Poarch, Atmore and the surrounding areas.
"We've always touted the secondary economic impact of our business," Mothershed said. "Obviously one of the direct impacts of our growth is being able to offer more jobs to the community. We're already one of the leading employers of the county and it makes us feel good to grow and be able to offer more jobs to residents.