COCONUT CREEK, Fla. - With the spectacle of a show and the class of a big-time casino, the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek reopened Thursday after its multimillion-dollar makeover.
ABC celebrity Ty Pennington, who now stars in daytime's "The Revolution," helped reveal the $150 million in improvements. The expansion doubled the size of the casino floor to 100,000 square feet.
"We've doubled the number of slot machines on the floor, the table games on the floor. We've added great new restaurants," said casino president Steve Bonner.
More than 1,000 temporary construction jobs were created for the project, including work for craftsmen, tradesmen, electricians and skilled laborers.
Bonner said the casino has also hired more than 800 people for full-time work. Many, like waitress Ana Ohara, were plucked from long lines at November's job fairs.
"I think it's the first time I'm looking forward to coming to work," Ohara said.
With unemployment in Broward County at 8.5 percent, that's good news.
But the elephant in the room is a proposed destination mega-casino just a county away. Competing resorts, like Genting Group's proposed resort and casino now being considered by state lawmakers, might be bad news for tribal casinos. Late last year, the Seminole tribe came out against the bill to allow them.
Although the mega-casino deal would possibly end the tribe's compact with the state, and therefore end its obligation to pay the state, a representative told Local 10 that the Seminole tribe wants to keep the compact intact after having worked on it for 20 years.
Bonner said the focus Thursday was on the newest destination in Broward County.
"It's now a full-fledged destination resort and something I think everyone in South Florida's going to want to come and see and have a good time," Bonner said.
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