ONAWA, Iowa — The Omaha Tribe has christened its new Blackbird Bend Casino in Onawa and is now looking to expand the $12 million gambling and entertainment complex with amenities such as a hotel, bowling alley, marina and 18-hole golf course.
The tribe, based in Macy, Nebraska, revealed those plans Friday at a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the casino, the Sioux City Journal reported (http://bit.ly/MjgT5x). Tribal leaders hope to add the amenities over the next several years, Blackbird Bend CEO Kurt Schmidt said.
"We have mid-range and long-term plans that will develop Blackbird Bend into a true destination resort that will attract visitors from all over the Midwest," Schmidt said.
The new casino was built next to the former Casino Omaha, which had been shut down by historic flooding along the Missouri River in 2011. The casino reopened early last year in a portion of the old casino building that formerly served as the restaurant.
The new structure sits 6 feet higher than the old building, to prevent flooding.
The larger casino created 144 more jobs, official said, raising total casino employment to around 200.
"It's good to put some people back to work," Schmidt said.
By late April or early May, casino managers plan to open a new bingo hall in the old casino. The adjacent Blackbird Bend Speedway, a stock car race track that has been shuttered for several years, also is expected to reopen in late spring or early summer, Schmidt said.
Information from: Sioux City Journal, http://www.siouxcityjournal.com