Illinois: Wind Creek Chicago Southland Casino nears completion, anticipates summer 2024 opening

Wind Creek Chicago Southland Casino is progressing as planned, with an anticipated opening in the summer of 2024. Talking to the Chicago Tribune, the casino’s executive vice president and general manager, Roger Kuehn, said that the East Hazel Crest building is set to be “under roof” before winter, a crucial milestone in the construction process.

Located southwest of the Interstate 80 and Halsted Street interchange, the prominent feature of the project is a 16-story, 252-room hotel. The steel framework is expected to be completed in about three weeks, marking a significant step toward the project’s completion.

Originally planned as a 21-story tower, the height was reduced due to material costs, particularly steel. Wind Creek had initially estimated a late summer or early fall 2024 opening, but Kuehn confirmed that the project is on schedule for an opening between July and September of the same year.

“It is still kind of a dart throw, but I would expect sometime in the third quarter of 2024. I think that is a fair timeline,” Kuehn was quoted as saying in the report.

Construction progress includes work on the 73,000-square-foot casino, with efforts to enclose the building expected to be completed by early January. Favorable weather conditions have extended the outdoor construction season, contributing to the timely progress.

Once the casino is enclosed, the focus will shift to the interior, addressing plumbing, electrical, and computer systems. The hotel is slated to open approximately four to five months after the casino welcomes its first customers.

Spanning both East Hazel Crest and Homewood, the casino project will contribute to the revenue of 42 south suburban communities, in addition to the two host suburbs. The site, previously home to two hotels, will house a 1,350-slot machine casino with 56 table games, a 13,000-square-foot buffet area, and a 10,000-square-foot entertainment space.

Wind Creek, a subsidiary of PCI Gaming Authority Inc., manages 10 casinos for the Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians. The project is expected to generate around 800 permanent jobs, with recruitment efforts underway for key positions. Job fairs are planned approximately two months before the casino’s opening, with a potential second event closer to the opening date, the report said.