Foxwoods getting bigger

On the bottom-line crawl of this morning’s news, I noticed that a $700 million Foxwoods expansion is national news.

From The Day:

The Mashantucket Pequots will undertake a $700 million expansion of their casino resort, including an 825-room hotel tower, 5,000-seat theater, a massive convention space and ballroom and more gaming units, shops, nightclubs and restaurants.

The three-year construction project is set to begin this summer on what is known as parking Lot 9 at the north end of the property. The tribe is considering two design themes that are markedly different from the existing casino, and is expected to choose a final plan in March.

The expansion, which was approved by the Tribal Council Monday, will add more than 2 million square feet to the facility, which is already the largest casino in the world based on its 320,000 square feet of gaming space. The new facility is scheduled to open in the summer of 2008 and will employ an estimated 2,300 people.

The following is a breakdown of Foxwoods’ $700 million development project:
* New hotel tower with 825 rooms and suites, and a 21,000-square-foot spa;

* Meeting and convention space that will provide an additional 145,000 square feet of floor space, bringing the total to 200,000 square feet;

* 50,000-square-foot ballroom, which will be twice the size of the existing ballroom in the resort’s Grand Pequot Hotel;

* Additional business meeting space and junior ballroom totaling 30,000 square feet;

* 5,000-seat multipurpose theater for concerts and events such as trade shows and exhibit space;

* Pre-function area of 15,000 square feet for receptions and events;

* Entertainment offerings in addition to the multipurpose theater will include two nightclubs with a combined area of 20,000 square feet and three lounges;

* Casino with 50,000 square feet of gaming space that would accommodate 1,500 slot machines and 45 table games, bringing the total to 8,900 slot machines and 425 table games;

* Four restaurants of varying sizes offering casual to upscale dining;

* Four retail stores with a combined space of 10,000 square feet;

* 2,900 parking spaces., New London, CT

To put this in context, the average Las Vegas Strip casino has 80-100 tables games and 2-3,000 slots in 100,000 square feet of space. This “expansion” is bigger than some of the older Atlantic City casino resorts.