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Monday, March 4, 2024
The Observer

23-story hotel to open at Four Winds Casino in March

On March 1, the city of South Bend will see the opening of a new, 23-story hotel at the Four Winds Casino.

Construction of the hotel was announced in 2019. It will offer 317 rooms for guests of the casino. The casino is run by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, which also operates Four Winds Casinos in New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac, Michigan.

“There’s a need there in the community for it,” Chairwoman Rebecca Richards of the Pokagon Band Tribal Council said of the hotel.

The massive construction will serve as an addition to the already existing casino which opened in January 2018. The hotel will include a pool, new restaurants and additional space for gambling.

“In 2018, we built [the] South Bend [casino] without a hotel to see what the market was going to be like because we had not been in that area,” Richards said.

For Richards, the hotel was the natural next step after the casino was up and running.

“Business was growing and doing well and so we wanted to expand to offer the amenities with a hotel, spa, restaurants and the event space,” Richards explained.

Beyond providing these amenities, Richards said the hotel will aim to have a positive impact on the South Bend community.

“We’ve been committed to being a great partner in the community,” Richards said. “We’re doing that through donations but also service to the community.”

According to Richards, the new hotel rooms will serve as a key part of this effort.

“There’s a lot of events that happen in and around South Bend,” Richards noted, highlighting that the casino will be able “to offer a hotel not only for guests that are there for gaming at Four Winds but also for the community.”

Also central to connecting the hotel to South Bend is the new event space.

“We think the event space is going to be a service to the community,” Richards said. The space, which can hold up to 900 people, will be able to host conferences, concerts and more.

Perhaps the most profound impact that the new hotel will have on the city is its contribution to the South Bend economy.

“This is a great employment opportunity because we’re expanding, providing new jobs, so that is great for the community,” Richards said.

According to WNDU, the new hotel will add approximately 400 new jobs to the South Bend economy.

Speaking on the future of the hotel, Richards stated that there are no new plans to announce “at the moment,” but that the Pokagon Band Tribal Council will continue to think about possible expansions to the casino.

“We open the doors on March 1 to the public. We’re gonna sit back and have to do some planning for sure to see what might be missing," Richards said. "But in the meantime, we’re focusing on serving our citizens with our programs that we deliver through our government."