New casino con­struc­tion crews stay­ing well ahead of the game

The Chatham Daily News - - FRONT PAGE - tter­[email protected]­media.com Twit­ter.com/Dai­lyNewsTT TREVOR TERFLOTH

Con­struc­tion on the new casino in Chatham is ahead of sched­ule, say com­pany of­fi­cials.

Lo­cated at Rich­mond Street and Keil Drive, the build­ing is now en­closed for winter work, with the outer shell and roof­ing com­pleted, along with tem­po­rary heat­ing and elec­tri­cal.

“Work can now pro­ceed in­ter­nally, rel­a­tively im­mune to the chal­lenges of winter,” said Rob Mitchell, di­rec­tor of com­mu­ni­ca­tions for Gate­way Casi­nos & Entertainment Ltd. “Ex­treme weather con­di­tions could po­ten­tially still im­pact progress but, now that the build­ing has been en­closed, this can largely be avoided.”

Mitchell said duct work is also pro­ceed­ing, as is plumb­ing rough­ins and ser­vic­ing for wa­ter and sewage.

Con­crete has been poured for two of three main areas of floor­ing so far, he added.

“To date, there have not been any real chal­lenges,” he said. “What chal­lenges there have been have been mostly weather-re­lated, heavy rains . . . in the fall.”

The $36-mil­lion Cas­cades­branded fa­cil­ity will be 4,180 square me­tres (45,000 square feet) and could pro­vide as many as 200 new jobs. There will be two res­tau­rants: The Buf­fet and the MATCH Eatery & Pub­lic House.

The casino will fea­ture 333 slot ma­chines and 10 gam­ing ta­bles, roughly twice the gam­ing space as the cur­rent Dres­den fa­cil­ity, which will re­main open with no trans­fer of staff un­til the new casino is com­pletely fin­ished, Mitchell said.

Gate­way has aimed for a grand open­ing in the mid­dle of this year, with the date to be de­ter­mined.

“We are ap­prox­i­mately two months ahead of sched­ule in the progress of the con­struc­tion and are ex­tremely pleased that the con­struc­tion has pro­ceeded so smoothly,” Mitchell said.

There will be lo­cal job fairs for re­cruit­ment closer to the open­ing date, he added, as well as a train­ing pe­riod for new staff.

“Par­tic­u­larly for ta­ble games — cur­rently 10 are pro­posed. Ta­ble games are very labour-in­ten­sive and re­quire spe­cific train­ing,” he said, list­ing poker, bac­carat, black­jack and roulette as ex­am­ples.

Train­ing will oc­cur on- and off­site be­fore the open­ing.

To date, there have not been any real chal­lenges.”

Rob Mitchell, com­mu­ni­ca­tions di­rec­tor, Gate­way Casi­nos & Entertainment Ltd.

TREVOR TERFLOTH/THE DAILY NEWS

The in­side of the new Chatham casino is shown on Fri­day. For an­other photo see Page A2.

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