HARRIS — A popular U.P. casino is undergoing some major renovations that will look to bring in more customers through its doors. Those who frequent the Island Resort and Casino in Harris will soon notice some major changes going on within the facility. And it’s all about giving the customers what they want.
“We want them to have a full experience. Whatever they want to do, we want to be able to provide it and we want to provide a top–notch experience,” General Manager Tony Mancilla said.
Every seven years, the management team gets together with the business executives to decide what changes need to be made. The funds will be coming out of the casino’s capital budget and after getting approval from the Hannahville Tribal Council, the $8 million project will include new digital signage and improvements to the casino entrances, as well as renovations for a new sports bar and improving the current bingo hall.
“So over the next two months, you’re going to see smaller construction inside the casino and that’s going to be happening real soon. It’s happening right now. By the summer, we’re going to have those two things going to be operational,” Mancilla said.
Another aspect of the project is a full–service spa that will include saunas and treatment rooms, for those looking to get a massage or even a mud bath.
“A spa uses a lot of water. So we’re going to be doing all the infrastructure and in the spring, we’re going to start doing the remodeling of the area. It’s right here in the casino. It’s on the second floor of the hotel. So that will be taking place this spring and winter and this time next year, it should be open,” said Mancilla.
The final major addition is another 18–hole golf course, which should be completed by the spring of 2017. The entire project is sure to be great boom to the local economy as well.
“As far as locally, we’re going to be adding 50 to 60 new jobs and they’re going to be high–end jobs. The spa, the golf course…we’re going to need people to help with those. And as far as growing locally, every time we grow, the locals do better, so we’re very happy about that, too,” Mancilla said.
The entire project should take about two years and the other areas of the facility will remain open. But officials say the new improvements will definitely be worth the wait.