Foxwoods Casino Celebrates 30 Years And Plans For A Major Expansion

Written By Veronica Sparks on March 2, 2022
Expansion plans announced for Foxwoods Casino Resort in CT

Foxwoods, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s resort casino in Connecticut, celebrated its 30th anniversary.

During the ceremony in mid-February that honored this milestone, the Connecticut casino announced that big expansions are coming.

Foxwoods 30th anniversary celebration was one for the books

Along with a birthday cake cutting ceremony for the Connecticut casino’s three-decade success, Foxwoods got in the giving spirit. The casino had a ton of giveaways during its anniversary month.

$30,000 per day was given away to casino guests during anniversary week. During February, Foxwoods guests had a chance to win cash and prize giveaways totaling $200,000.

Comedic performers like Jo Koy and Jim Norton were brought in for the occasion, and the casino instituted Double Bonus Slot Play Friday.

Foxwoods also pledged to donate $30,000 every month in 2022 to a variety of charities. February’s donation recipient was United Way.

At the anniversary celebration Foxwoods CEO, Jason Guyot, said:

“Today marks the beginning of a spectacular yearlong celebration. And we look forward to welcoming guests of all ages to experience the wonder of it all.”

A long history of ‘go big or go home’ for Foxwoods

Foxwoods has never been one to celebrate in a small way. When the resort’s first theater opened in 1993, Frank Sinatra performed.

“That was a big deal,” Guyot said. “Sinatra was playing Vegas and Atlantic City, and then he came to Foxwoods.”

Guyot also recalled that for the space that now serves as the High Stakes Bingo Hall, Pavarotti performed for the opening.

Expansions are coming for Foxwoods Resort Casino

Foxwoods also announced its plans for a massive expansion at its anniversary event. Upcoming projects include:

  • A facelift for the main entrance of the resort
  • A brand-new High Stakes Bingo Hall that’s set to open in the spring
  • The Rainmaker Expo Center to host concerts and trade shows will open in the fall

Arguably the biggest part of the expansion project, however, is the casino’s new partnership with Great Wolf Lodge. This June, ground will break on an indoor water park, hotel, and family entertainment center.

The Great Wolf Lodge partnership project is scheduled to be completed in 2024.

Family-friendly inclusion is a goal at Foxwoods

Great Wolf Lodge leads the industry when it comes to family-friendly indoor water park resorts. Mashantucket’s addition to Foxwoods’ portfolio will mean local and visiting families will have a year-round getaway for much more than gambling in Connecticut.

Guyot said of the waterpark project:

“Foxwoods will become family-friendly on a massive scale. It will be on 15 acres adjacent to Foxwoods, not directly a part of Foxwoods. It will be a huge driver of foot traffic.”

The Foxwoods expansion will benefit everyone

Along with the addition of new jobs, the Foxwoods expansion will add additional revenue to state coffers. In slot revenue alone, the Connecticut casino has paid over $4 billion in state taxes since its opening in 1992.

Aside from taxes on gambling revenue, the resort casino also pays restaurant and hotel taxes.

The expansion comes after a decade of dark financial times

Ten years ago, the Connecticut resort casino wasn’t seeing the best of times. In February 2012, a New York Times headline declared that the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation’s resort casino in Connecticut was “fighting for its life.”

The headline came after Foxwoods registered more than $2 billion of debt. While the outlook was bleak for the casino, it pulled through the tough times.

One contributing factor to the resort casino’s success is its prime location. Nestled between Boston and New York City, Foxwoods gets the business of weekend-getaway travelers from not one, but two major urban areas.

Surviving its 2012 financial crisis, this Connecticut casino emerged and flourished more than ever.

“First there was Las Vegas and Atlantic City, and then Foxwoods,” Guyot said. “Now, no one in the Northeast, or even in the country can compete with us.”

Guyot is hopeful that Foxwoods’ expansion will bring both profit and success for the tribe and the state.

“As we look ahead to the next chapter of Foxwoods, and as we continue to get better every year. I am proud to celebrate this milestone alongside The Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, Foxwoods team members, our beloved guests, and the local community.”

Photo by Jessica Hill / AP Photo
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