Riverton – Casino gaming in Wyoming begins a new era on May 1, when the Northern Arapaho Tribe opens its full-service Wind River Casino in a new 45,000-square-foot building south of Riverton.
The new casino, the state’s largest, will feature 750 Las Vegas-style gaming machines, eight table games, two restaurants, an espresso bar, a gift shop, a separate 4,500-square-foot meeting/conference and entertainment center and a non-smoking gaming area with 70 machines. The new location also offers a paved and fully lighted 850-space parking area adjacent to the new casino.
With 420 employees, the majority of whom are Northern Arapaho tribal members, the new casino will be the tribe’s largest employer.
The new casino, nearly double the size of its predecessor, sits high on a bluff overlooking the Big and Little Wind Rivers and the city of Riverton. There will be 230 more gaming machines and four more table games than there were at the original casino. A huge electronic sign on Highway 789 will serve as a beacon to the new facility.
“The new Wind River Casino features Las Vegas style ambiance with lush carpeting, 25 flat screen television screens throughout the casino, rich earth tone colors, high ceilings, special lighting and a spectacular sound system,” said Jim Conrad, general manager. “We are pleased to offer fine dining in the new casino at our Red Willow Restaurant and the Cee nokuu or “Sit down and stay awhile” Café along with a coffee bar, and a gift shop, all providing the quality and kind of amenities one would expect for such a top flight facility.”
Conrad said the move to the new casino would begin in mid-April. He said the public opening of the new casino is set for May 1 and that a grand opening celebration is being planned in early June.
The current Wind River Casino, located about a mile closer to town, will be renamed the 789 Smoke Shop and Casino and will remain open with about 80 gaming machines. The convenience store and tobacco shop there will be expanded. The 789 Smoke Shop and Casino will continue to offer food and fuel to travelers and truckers, including diesel fuels. The bingo operation previously located in the building will also return.
With the opening of the new Wind River Casino, the Northern Arapaho Tribe will own and operate three casinos on the Wind River Indian Reservation. The third casino is the nearly 10,000-square-foot Little Wind Casino at Ethete. The Little Wind Casino features two separate gaming areas with 140 Las Vegas-style gaming machines, a C-store and a deli.