Oneida Nation plans large-scale expansion of Turning Stone Resort in New York

Posted: September 7, 2022, 11:30 a.m.

Last update on: September 8, 2022, 12:17 p.m.

The Oneida Indian Nation has announced a bold expansion plan for its Turning Stone Resort Casino in upstate New York.

turn the stone
An aerial view of the Turning Stone Resort Casino, operated by the Oneida Indian Nation in Verona, NY. The Tribal Nation announced this week that it is planning a substantial expansion of the resort, including a new hotel tower, additional meeting space and other amenities. (Image: Oneida Nation Businesses)

Although the gaming facility will not be expanded as part of the multi-year project, Oneida’s plan includes the construction of a new hotel tower similar to the same size as the Turning Stone’s Tower Hotel, which could accommodate 250 bedrooms.

The project would also essentially double the convention and conference space at the complex located in Verona, about 30 miles east of Syracuse off the New York Thruway. It will also include new restaurants, outdoor spaces and other amenities.

Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter said the expansion is the resort’s largest in 20 years and is necessary for Turning Stone to remain competitive as a tourist and conference attraction.

Today, we are experiencing record demand for hosting conferences and other events at Turning Stone that far exceeds our current hotel and convention facilities,” said Halbritter. “This large, multi-year expansion project will help us meet this growing need and even greater demand in the future. Our 30-year track record has proven that investments like this are critical to supporting the growth and success of our businesses and the entire region.

The tribal nation did not disclose the estimated amount of the expansion, but Joel Barkin, vice president of communications for the Oneida Indian Nation, said Casino.org in an email that he was “good in nine figures”.

Hundreds of jobs to be created

While planning for the expansion is underway, a grand opening will not take place until next year, according to the country’s statement.

The Oneidas selected Gensler as the architectural firm for the expansion. Its development portfolio includes the CityCenter at MGM Resorts International, the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Washington, DC, and Swan Reserve at Walt Disney World.

“This extension will introduce ground-breaking features to this incredible property, and we are very excited to add this extension to our portfolio of world-class hospitality and convention projects,” said Gensler Design Director Lester Yuen in a statement.

Syracuse’s Hayner Hoyt will serve as the project’s general contractor, and the Tribal Nation will partner with unions in central New York to fill the hundreds of construction jobs.

The completed project will also lead to hundreds of new permanent positions within the station.

“Today’s announcement by the Oneida Nation of India is further evidence of the region’s growing tourism economy and economic recovery from the global pandemic…We view this large-scale development as a positive for area businesses seeking meeting and convention venues, as well as those seeking world-class recreational activity,” said Steven DiMeo, President of Mohawk Valley EDGE, the economic development agency of the region.

Latest development for Oneidas

The Oneida Nation expansion announcement comes just months after the tribal nation launched an affordable housing initiative. The tribe opened an employee-only apartment complex, offering new casino hires access to one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments.

Additional units within the 50-unit The Villages at Stoney Creek are expected to open this month.

About Richard Chandler

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