On Monday, January 23, Four Winds Casinos South Bend opened its doors to give the media a sneak peek tour of its new beautiful 23-story hotel, set to open to the public on Wednesday, March 1. Everyone on the tour was grateful to be a part of something so special and was eager to begin sharing this premium facility with the community.
Chief Operating Officer Frank Freedman spoke about how fulfilling it was to have everyone finally walk through the new space. Four Winds broke ground for the hotel in 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic and the shutdown slowed things down. Construction resumed to full speed during the summer of 2020 and now, two years later, aside from some furniture, the hotel is almost completely finished.
“It’s been a very long journey, but it’s just great to see everything that’s been accomplished. This all started with a group of people and a whiteboard. To see everything get conceptualized, drawn, built, and now being able to actually walk through it all is amazing. It’s the best part of my job,” said Freedman.
Amazing would be an understatement. The new facility has 317 rooms including 83 suites. There is an outdoor pool and tons of terraces to enjoy the view, and as if all that weren’t enough, the facility also features plenty of incredible indoor spaces guests can peruse at their leisure.
There is Cedar Spa, which is decked out with steam rooms, saunas, vitality pools, and aromatherapy showers. The hotel’s restaurant, Edgewater Cafe, will feature a variety of cuisines inspired by the sun and the seas. Additionally, the hotel’s Ribbon Town Conference and Event Center has 25,000 square feet of flexible space, including a massive ballroom that can seat 800 people so guests can attend concerts and host their own special events.
People couldn’t help but "ooh" and "ahh" as they walked through the new facility. Every corner they turned there was something beautiful to look at whether it was a gorgeous chandelier, a grand fireplace, or an intricate tile design. Light flooded in through enormous floor-to-ceiling windows in nearly every space.
“Every opportunity we had to bring in natural elements and natural light, we did. Often when you’re in a casino environment there are no watches, no clocks, and no light. That’s definitely not the case here. These types of little things are important to us,” said Freedman.
Aside from all the beautiful spaces and intricate details, Freedman hopes guests appreciate just how easy it is to enjoy the new facility.
“I hope the customers enjoy the ease of use. We’re in a great location to the highways--getting here will be very seamless. We have thousands of parking spots both enclosed and just in a normal flat lot. The hotel will also have its own entry so the ease of getting to the property and getting settled is going to be unparalleled,” said Freedman.
More importantly, though, Freedman wants each guest to walk away feeling valued and well-taken care of. The Four Winds team is already working hard to hire and train a professional and friendly staff as the hotel created approximately 400 new jobs.
“The most important thing is that we provide a safe, secure environment with really great, friendly staff. That’s what people are going to find when they come here. Our employees come in and work hard and truly put out the best versions of themselves. In hospitality, people have a lot of choices as to where they spend their money, and we want to make sure everyone who comes here has a wonderful time. That’s what it’s all about,” said Freedman.
Of course, none of this would have been possible without the dedication and hard work of everyone involved in this project over the past two years.
“We have a tremendous team. I want to thank the owners for having the confidence to continue to move forward with a project of this size and scope. It was a big decision, but they’ve always supported us. Our team has also been great. I’ve been working with the same group of executives for 16 years and I know that I’m surrounded by people who are confident in what they do and have passion,” said Freedman.
After a few last finishing touches, the hotel will open to the public on Wednesday, March 1. Four Winds is already beginning to take hotel reservations, so you can go make them now either online or by calling. Don’t forget to also buy tickets to Ribbon Town’s first live concert featuring Parmalee, an up-and-coming country pop band, on Saturday, March 18. Tickets can be purchased on Ticketmaster beginning January 27 at 11 a.m. Eastern.
“We’re just so excited to show what we’ve done here with the meeting spaces and the hotel rooms and the restaurant and the lounge area. It just has such a different vibe from everything else and we’re so thrilled. We can’t wait for our Pokagon Citizens as well as every guest to experience the new facility,” said Rebecca Richards, tribal chairwoman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi.
To learn more about Four Winds Casino, visit fourwindscasino.com.