Mohegan Sun, one of the largest casinos in the western hemisphere, is growing.
The Uncasville-based tribe is building its brand, and a new hotel.
In 2008, because of the economy, the casino postponed construction of a second hotel on its Thames River property.
Now, a redesigned $130 million, 400-room hotel called The Earth Hotel, is quickly rising at the Sun, and it is expected to open next fall.
"It’s the time and so you'll see today we're well on our way to an on-time project to open this thing, in conjunction with our anniversary in October,” said Kevin Brown, Mohegan Tribal chairman.
Eyewitness News got a personal tour of the 12-story construction site on Thursday.
"If you're looking for something modern, looking for something more boutique, then you would choose to come here at the Earth Hotel. The SKY hotel gives you a lot more amenity, much bigger room,” said Architect Vivian Wong.
Besides owning a destination resort in Connecticut, Mohegan also opened a casino in Pennsylvania, manages one in Atlantic City, has teamed with the Cowlitz Tribe in Washington State to build a casino there, and has plans to build a complex in Korea.
"I think it’s fantastic for the state of Connecticut,” said Chuck Herzy of Westbrook.
It isn’t about just gaming anymore. The tribe has diversified into many businesses, including restaurants like Jersey Mikes.
Mohegan is franchising a dozen of the sub shops throughout New England, and a dozen Arooga’s sports restaurants as well, and is diversifying into a wood pellet manufacturing business.
"We have a lot of things at play, all good, all showing that we're growing and changing,” Brown said.
The diversification, and hotel expansion, is expected to add about 1,000 jobs to the area.
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