Wind Creek Hospitality, the business arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians, announced on Tuesday construction works on its new gaming property in Illinois began last week.
Legacy of Building Communities
Wind Creek Chicago Southland, a casino property project spanning over 70,000 square feet and set to feature a 252-room luxury hotel, 1,350 slot machines, 56 table games, dining and entertainment venues, broke ground off I-80 near Halsted Street and 175th Street in the south suburban communities of East Hazel Crest and Homewood, in the heart of Southland where jobs and opportunities are mostly needed.
“Wind Creek doesn’t just build casinos, we truly build communities.”Stephanie Bryan, Tribal Chair and CEO, Poarch Creek Indians
Commenting on the news, Bryan also paid tribute to all “community leaders, local organizations and residents of the south suburbs” who helped the tribe so far, ensuring everyone that “the benefits associated with this project” will be “experienced by the entire region.”
The casino is projected to create approximately 600 construction jobs and bring around 800 well-paid full-time jobs to the region when it opens in 2023, while revenues generated will be shared with the State of Illinois and the surrounding townships.
Jay Dorris, president and chief executive officer of Wind Creek Hospitality, noted that Southland residents anticipate this casino and the community investment that it will bring to the area, and finally, the first step towards making it a reality is made.
Giving Back to Its Communities
“Our commitment to this community has already begun and will only be strengthened as we move our focus to job creation and finalizing the details of the Southland Public Benefit Fund.”Jay Dorris, President and CEO, Wind Creek Hospitality
According to the proposal to develop a Four Diamond casino submitted by the tribe to the Illinois Gaming Board (IGB) in November 2021 and approved by the regulator a month later, Wind Creek Hospitality, famous for giving back to the communities where it operates, will create the Southland Public Benefit Fund and will contribute $10,000 to it alone.
East Hazel Crest and Homewood will also contribute to the fund which will distribute in its first five years of operation $150,000 per annum to provide scholarships for disadvantaged students in partnership with South Suburban College, Prairie State College, and Moraine Valley Community College, as well as health services for the south suburban region via the Ingalls Development Foundation and Advocate South Suburban Hospital.
Contributions from the Southland Public Benefit Fund are set to rise to $1 million annually once the fund corpus reaches $20 million.
The tribal business arm of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians currently manages a total of 10 state and tribal gaming properties in Alabama, Florida, Nevada, Pennsylvania, and the Caribbean.