Artist rendering of Twin River Hotel, courtesy of WPRI.

Finally, Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Rhode Island is starting to build it’s hotel – and none too soon!

For years, NETG (NETimeGambling) has been stating that Twin River needs a hotel.  Hampered by state pressure not to infringe upon the impact on Providence hotels (the capital of Providence is only 10 minutes away), TR’s hotel is already late to the party.  In March of 2015, Jennifer Bogdan of the Providence Journal reported that the bill sponsored by Rep. Jeremiah T. O’Grady, D-Lincoln, would remove a provision banning a hotel from the law that allows the casino to operate when the House voted unanimously to lift a restriction on hotel construction. The restriction reflected concerns of the Providence hotel industry that at one time feared competition. To compete with the likes of the CT casinos, Plainridge Park Casino over the border in Massachusetts, and New England’s casino jewel to be completed in 2019 in Wynn Boston Harbor, NETG has screamed at Twin River Management Group – “BUILD A HOTEL!”

Dignitaries break ground for a new hotel at Twin River Casino in Lincoln, Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Courtesy of WJAR

Once again, Jennifer Bogdan of the Providence Journal (ProJo) was on top the story, reporting, “Twin River Casino broke ground Tuesday on a $25-million hotel that’s expected to open in June 2018. The project is roughly seven months behind the schedule the company discussed last year when the General Assembly passed legislation paving the way for the expansion project. John E. Taylor Jr., chairman of Twin River Worldwide Holdings, the casino’s parent company, said the delay was attributed in part to the company’s plans to build a new casino in Tiverton as that campaign required significant resources.”

Understandably, TRMG needed to get all its ducks in a row.  Now it’s time to put the pedal to the metal.

For years, Twin River hid under the shadows of the CT tribal casinos.  It’s progress to today has always seemed to be reactionary, with less publicity than most New England Casinos, and a Rewards Club that has more questions than answers to it’s members.

Twin River Casino. Larger than most people realize – two large casino floors

For those of you who are unaware, the facility has over 160,000 square feet of gaming space, with over 4,200 video slot machines and virtual table games, as well as 108 live table games, including a gaming mix of blackjack, roulette, craps, poker and more. Other amenities include an 29,000-square-foot event center, four restaurants, three food courts, several bars, and a racebook. Twin River offers both smoking and non-smoking casinos. In December 2015 Twin River opened its first poker room with 16 live cash games. (No tournaments) they offer No limit, limit,and stud games in various amounts. The poker room is open 24 hours.  Twin River should be considered the 4th largest “casino” in the country, right behind Foxwoods & Mohegan Sun. It’s probably the largest casino without a hotel attached! Imagine that New England has three of the largest casinos in the country!

Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.
Originally built for greyhound racing, Twin River Casino is now a full casino.
Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion
Twin River as Lincoln Park before Major Expansion

But it’s journey to today was a long and arduous with numerous changes.  In 1947, Lincoln Downs opened as a horse racing track.  Closed in 1976, it was bought and turned into Lincoln Greyhound Park, beginning its first season of greyhound racing in June 1977. Parimutuel betting was introduced in 1991, only to see a vast decrease in revenue due to the opening of Foxwoods in CT.  Rhode Island authorized video lottery terminals with poker and blackjack games to be installed at Lincoln Park, eventually totaling 900 by 1993.  But these class II machines did not cut into the competition southwest where Las Vegas style slots (class III) were installed at Foxwoods, and now Mohegan Sun.

To make a long story shorter, a $220 million expansion began by it’s new owner, in 2007 and renamed it “Twin River Casino.”  Table games were added in 2013 as a reaction to compete with CT casinos, Newport Grand was purchased by TRMG in 2015, and the rest is history.

Back to Jennifer Bogdan’s report. “Construction of the four-story, 135-room hotel with a pool, fitness center and spa, will take place under the general contractor Excell Construction Corp., of East Greenwich; A/Z Corp. of North Stonington, Connecticut and North Kingstown is the construction manager. JCJ Architecture, which designed the Twin River Casino and the pending Tiverton casino, is the design and architectural firm. It won’t be a tower like hotels at Connecticut casinos Foxwoods and Mohegan Sun, Twin River officials said. The hotel will only be four stories tall, to match the height of the currently standing building. In addition to guest rooms, the hotel will offer a spa, pool and fitness center, outdoor patio and function space, boardrooms, and valet parking.

Senate President Dominick Ruggerio said, ““The hotel will help set the facility apart in today’s competitive gaming environment, protecting thousands of Rhode Island jobs and adding new jobs at the hotel and in the construction industry, while also protecting a vital source of revenue for the state.”  (Sound familiar, Connecticut?)

We applaud Twin River for taking our insightful recommendations.  I’m sure a hotel would not have come to fruition without NETG’s constant lobbying.  We’re glad we had a hand in the process!

Ok, I understand others had a lot to do with it. Maybe I’d like to just get credit for recognizing the need 5 years ago when we started NETimeGambling.

Maybe even a sticker that says “good job” ????

 

Binbin

 

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