Embracing the Resort Side: A Look at HBG Design's Contributions to Non-Gaming Amenities in Tribal Casinos

In the evolving landscape of tribal gaming, non-gaming amenities have emerged as significant profit centers, enhancing the overall guest experience and driving new revenue streams. As the industry shifts towards providing comprehensive entertainment experiences, HBG Design stands at the forefront, partnering with tribal clients to innovate and tailor non-gaming amenities to meet local market demands.

WinStar World Casino & Resort: Setting New Standards

One of the most notable projects by HBG Design is the WinStar World Casino & Resort in Oklahoma. Nathan Peak, Principal and Practice Leader for HBG Design, underscores the critical role of non-gaming amenities in reinforcing overall revenues. At WinStar, HBG Design has introduced several key non-gaming elements, including the Lucas Oil Live facility. This 6,500-seat venue, offering optimal acoustics and aesthetics, caters to the Dallas/Fort Worth market and hosts top-tier performers like Miranda Lambert and Rod Stewart. This project sets a new standard for live entertainment in the region, enhancing the guest experience with VIP event lounge suites and a dynamic LED-lit concourse.

Adjacent to Lucas Oil Live is the Session House Gastropub, seamlessly connecting the entertainment venue to the new 16-story, 304-key contemporary Spa Tower hotel. This integration exemplifies how HBG Design leverages non-gaming amenities to create holistic entertainment environments that attract a diverse array of guests.

Eagle Mountain Casino: Cultural Sensitivity and Unique Design

HBG Design’s commitment to integrating tribal culture and heritage into their projects is evident in the new 105,000-square-foot Eagle Mountain Casino operated by the Tule River Tribe in Porterville, California. Nathan Peak highlights how the design reflects the tribe's cultural symbols, with soaring vertical features recalling the giant sequoia and golden eagle, and flowing forms inspired by the Tule River. This thoughtful incorporation of cultural elements creates a distinctive and immersive environment for guests, setting the casino apart in the competitive market.

Expanding Horizons at Gun Lake Casino

At the Gun Lake Casino in Michigan, HBG Design is pushing the envelope with the Wawye Oasis, a multi-purpose pool and event center atrium complex. This innovative space will offer a climate-controlled indoor environment shaped like a large sun dial, maintaining a cozy 82-degree climate year-round. The versatility of this space, transitioning from a resort pool oasis by day to a dynamic performance complex by night, exemplifies HBG Design’s ability to create multifunctional amenities that maximize return on investment.

Enhancing Convenience with Parking Solutions

Parking facilities are often overlooked but critical components of non-gaming amenities. Nathan Peak emphasizes the importance of parking structures for guest convenience, particularly in regions with adverse weather conditions. HBG Design’s strategic planning ensures that these facilities not only protect guests but also provide quick and easy access to the gaming floor, thereby enhancing the overall guest experience and contributing to the property's profitability.

Conclusion: Innovating for the Future

HBG Design continues to lead the way in integrating non-gaming amenities into tribal casinos, recognizing their crucial role in attracting diverse guests and extending their stay. By blending cultural sensitivity with innovative design and strategic planning, HBG Design helps tribal casinos create unique, immersive experiences that drive revenue and set new industry standards. As the market for non-gaming amenities grows, HBG Design remains dedicated to partnering with tribal clients to deliver tailored solutions that meet their specific revenue objectives and enrich the guest experience.

See full article in Tribal Government Gaming

Building the Future of Gaming in Beloit

We are thrilled to announce a transformative project that promises to elevate the gaming industry and the regional economy of Beloit, Wisconsin. After years of planning and anticipation, the Ho-Chunk Nation is set to break ground on the new $405 million Ho-Chunk Gaming Beloit casino complex in fall 2024. As the chosen design firm for this landmark project, HBG Design is honored to bring our expertise in hospitality design to this exciting development.

A Milestone in the Making

The journey to this point has been long and complex, marked by the crucial approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs in May 2022. This decision allowed for the construction of the casino on a 33-acre site at Willowbrook and Colley roads, near Interstate 39-90. The approval is the result of extensive federal processes, discussions, and negotiations between tribal representatives, local authorities, and community stakeholders. It symbolizes a significant step forward for the Ho-Chunk Nation and the city of Beloit.

Vision for a Comprehensive Entertainment Experience

Robert Mudd, Executive Director of Business for the Ho-Chunk Nation, shared his enthusiasm: “We are thrilled to advance our development plans in time for a fall groundbreaking, moving forward with the final design by HBG Design, the infrastructure work and construction. In the gaming market, our competitors are stepping up, as they should. Each offers a unique product, and that’s our aim too.”

The development will feature a 1,500-to-1,800-slot casino with 44 table games, an 18-story, 300-key hotel tower, a multi-purpose convention center, and multiple food and beverage venues. Additionally, sports betting facilities will be available, thanks to an agreement between the Ho-Chunk Nation and the state of Wisconsin. This comprehensive array of amenities underscores the project's commitment to providing an unparalleled entertainment experience.

Economic Impact and Community Benefits

The construction of Ho-Chunk Gaming Beloit is expected to span 18 to 24 months, creating an estimated 3,000 direct and indirect jobs. Once operational, the complex will offer around 1,500 permanent positions. The economic benefits extend further with revenue-sharing agreements anticipated to provide up to $3 million annually to Beloit and Rock County, supporting local infrastructure improvements and community services.

Beyond its economic contributions, the new complex will significantly enhance Beloit’s tourism and hospitality sectors. The expansive convention center and other amenities will attract business conventions, expos, concerts, and more, positioning Beloit as a regional hub for entertainment and commerce.

A Legacy of Excellence

Ho-Chunk Gaming Beloit will be the seventh casino owned and operated by the Ho-Chunk Nation in Wisconsin, joining a prestigious lineup including Ho-Chunk Gaming Black River Falls, Madison, Nekoosa, Tomah, Wisconsin Dells, and Wittenberg.

HBG Design is proud to continue our longstanding partnership with the Ho-Chunk Nation. Our expertise in designing high-profile large-scale resort destinations is exemplified in our previous projects for the Ho-Chunk Gaming brand, including expansions and renovations at Wisconsin Dells, Black River Falls, and Wittenberg. These projects, completed in 2018 and 2019, set the stage for the innovative and comprehensive design approach we bring to Ho-Chunk Gaming Beloit.

Looking Ahead

As we prepare for groundbreaking in fall 2024, HBG Design is excited to contribute to a project that promises to be a game-changer for the Ho-Chunk Nation, Beloit, and the broader Wisconsin region. Stay tuned for more updates as we embark on this journey to shape the future of gaming and entertainment in Beloit.

See full article in Casino Style Magazine.

Slot Floor Design Evolution: A Perspective from HBG Design

See full article is Casino Style Magazine

The casino industry has witnessed a significant transformation in slot floor design, driven by trends in game design and economic changes. The days of tightly packed rows of slot machines are fading, giving way to more spacious, creatively designed floors that enhance both functionality and guest experience.

HBG Design's Vision

Kevin Burke, Senior Architectural Designer for HBG Design, highlights how the pandemic catalyzed this change. "Covid did a great thing in a way by creating this openness to the gaming floor," Burke states. The emphasis shifted from the sheer number of games to the overall size and openness of the gaming floor, allowing for better spacing and a more pleasant environment. Burke emphasizes the importance of careful planning with clients to achieve these open spaces and amenities, integrating gaming with a more holistic entertainment experience.

Enhanced Guest Experience

Burke further notes, "The last 10 years have seen an entertainment focus, with an elevated guest experience on the gaming floor." HBG Design's approach involves crafting a story and a strong concept that starts from the street and permeates throughout the property, including the gaming floor. This evolution from the previously smaller, tighter, and darker spaces to more open and engaging environments allows for better wayfinding, sightlines, and connection to surrounding amenities.

Adapting to New Machine Designs

Changes in slot machine designs have also influenced floor layouts. Modern machines are taller and more immersive, requiring adjustments in floor design to maintain a balance between visibility and player experience. "We’ve been going through what we need as our dimensions for gaming floors. It’s a much different-looking machine than it was even a few years ago," Burke explains. HBG Design aims to create flexible spaces that can adapt to various layout options, catering to both privacy and social interaction needs.

Future Trends

Looking ahead, Burke sees a continued trend towards integrating entertainment directly on the casino floor.

"Entertainment offerings on the casino floor will be a key focus. Stadium gaming is here to stay," he says.

As sports betting expands, there's potential for further blending of sports with gaming experiences, creating a more dynamic and engaging environment for patrons.


Spotlight on Ray Mabry and HBG Design Dallas

Ray Mabry, a seasoned expert in hospitality design with a rich background spanning across Dallas and international landscapes, recently joined HBG Design as the Dallas Office Leader. In a captivating discussion on the "CEO Spotlight with David Johnson" podcast on KRLD NewsRadio 1080, Mabry shared insights into his vision for HBG's Dallas office and the exciting prospects ahead.

Listen to the Spotlight Podcast Here

Mabry's decision to join HBG was influenced by the firm's alignment with his core values and design philosophy. With over two decades of experience in Dallas and a keen eye for hospitality and entertainment design, Mabry saw in HBG a perfect platform to further his expertise. The firm's commitment to creating lasting guest experiences resonated deeply with him, making the transition a natural fit.

One of the pivotal aspects of Mabry's role at HBG is to spearhead the expansion of the Dallas office. With plans to double the team size within a year, Mabry envisions cultivating a dynamic team of architects and interior designers. Drawing from the success of HBG's San Diego office, Mabry aims to establish a strong presence in Dallas while maintaining a focus on serving both national and regional clients.

HBG's recent move to the Bank of America Plaza in downtown Dallas signifies a strategic commitment to the region. The central location not only facilitates better client service but also fosters collaboration with local design communities. The vibrant urban setting of the new office reflects HBG's culture of openness and collaboration, creating an inspiring workspace for employees and clients alike.

In terms of projects, HBG's portfolio in Dallas and the surrounding region is impressive, with notable ventures like Winstar World Casino and Resort's Lucas Oil Live Event Center and the new Spa Tower. Mabry aims to build on this success by targeting premium and luxury brand hospitality projects, solidifying HBG's position as a leading design provider in the region.

Furthermore, community engagement is a key aspect of HBG's strategy in Dallas. Mabry emphasizes the importance of actively participating in local design networks and community initiatives to foster meaningful connections and contribute positively to the city's fabric.

Ray Mabry's leadership at HBG Design Dallas promises an exciting chapter in the firm's journey, marked by innovation, collaboration, and a steadfast commitment to delivering exceptional guest experiences. As the Dallas office continues to grow and thrive under his guidance, the future of hospitality design in the region looks brighter than ever.

Work, Play, and Panoramic Views: HBG Design's New Downtown San Diego Office

With great anticipation and enthusiasm, HBG Design announces that our San Diego team has officially relocated to new office space within the vibrant downtown cityscape, effective March 1, 2024.

Downtown San Diego has proven to be the perfect location for our team’s growth,” says Joe Baruffaldi, HBG’s San Diego Office Leader. “This new larger downtown office space will allow us to creatively thrive as we continue to innovate the design of unique hospitality, entertainment, and mixed-use experiences, in San Diego, along the West Coast, and nationally.”

HBG Design San Diego’s new office address is:

1 Columbia Place
401 West A Street
Suite 700
San Diego, CA 92101
Phone: 619-858-7888

That View Though!

Perched on the 7th floor, our new downtown office offers panoramic vistas of the stunning San Diego Bay, the bustling San Diego International Airport, and the lush expanse of Balboa Park. Designed with collaboration in mind, our open office environment fosters seamless idea-sharing and teamwork among coworkers. Featuring expansive workspaces, high ceilings, and an open floor plan, HBG Design's San Diego office is a testament to our commitment to connectivity and creativity. Embracing our brand aesthetic, the office design seamlessly integrates features and zones that visually and physically unite employees, embodying our design-driven culture and fostering a vibrant atmosphere of innovation.

Communal Rooftop Terrace / Photo Courtesy of 1 Columbia Place

Inspired in Little Italy

1 Columbia Place is nestled in the heart of San Diego’s Little Italy, a vibrant and bustling community brimming with charm, culture, and delectable culinary delights. For a midday escape or a post-work retreat, Little Italy offers the perfect respite for HBG staff. Whether it's a leisurely lunch break at a charming sidewalk café, unwinding after a long day at the office with a stroll along the picturesque waterfront, or a visit to one of the neighborhood's many wine bars or craft breweries – Little Italy has it all!

Elevating the Workplace Experience

1 Columbia Place also boasts a host of amenities designed to enhance the professional and personal lives of our team members. From a bustling café to a serene rooftop terrace, these communal public spaces offer the perfect blend of productivity and relaxation. Our San Diego team will be able to stay active in the state-of-the-art fitness center and find moments of respite in the private outdoor spaces.

1 Columbia Place Amenities / Photo Courtesy of 1 Columbia Place
1 Columbia Place Amenities / Photo Courtesy of 1 Columbia Place

We’ve Come a Long Way in San Diego!

HBG’s San Diego office opened in 2016 on the heels of winning the commission for a multi-million-dollar resort expansion at Sycuan Casino Resort in East San Diego County. That win launched the firm’s ability to make the California dream a reality. Our core San Diego architecture and interior design leadership (the OG’s as we call them) have built HBG’s formidable presence on the West Coast. The San Diego office tripled in size during its first year of operation and has been growing ever since. This move to One Columbia Place allows us to keep up with that pace of growth.

We’re a recognized San Diego Business Journal ‘Best Place to Work’ and three of our ‘OGs’ were recently touted as San Diego ‘Leaders of Influence in Architecture and Design’. Technology allows HBG’s San Diego, Memphis, and Dallas offices to work interconnectedly to deliver project designs over the miles, and regular gatherings, community volunteering, and professional education events bring us together through camaraderie and continuous learning!

Lucas Oil Live: Excellence in Event Venue Design

Introducing Lucas Oil Live at Winstar World Casino & Resort, a world-class entertainment event venue designed by HBG Design.

Within the Dallas/North Texas resort market, this groundbreaking venue sets a new standard for live performances, blending cutting-edge design with operational efficiency to create a symphony of entertainment.

Guests step into the realm of Lucas Oil Live, where every element is meticulously crafted to amplify the energy pulsating from within. From the moment patrons set foot in the 6,500-seat amphitheater-style arena, they are enveloped in an immersive journey unlike any other. The design narrative unfolds with dynamic LED-lit concourses, guiding patrons towards the heart of the action while mirroring the rhythmic flow of music that awaits them.

Entertainment Venue Pre-function Space Design

Drawing inspiration from the rebellious spirit of rock and roll, Lucas Oil Live exudes a vibrant aesthetic that resonates with the soul of amplified music. Bold angles, colored lights, and distinctive glass elements converge to create a beacon of rock and roll rebellion, distinguishing this venue as a destination experience within the Winstar Campus.

Entertainment Venue Exterior Design

Entertainment Venue Interior Design

At the core of HBG Design's design philosophy lies a unwavering attention to detail, evident in every aspect of Lucas Oil Live. From the rebellious angles of the architecture to the streamlined customer experience at concessions, every element is carefully curated to ensure that guests can fully immerse themselves in the magic of live entertainment.

Lucas Oil Live Stage

The design team's commitment to operational excellence extends beyond the stage, with innovative solutions designed to accommodate a diverse range of events. Whether patrons are enjoying a concert, MMA boxing match, or banquet seating, the venue seamlessly adapts to meet the dynamic demands of any occasion.

Concert Venue VIP

And for those seeking the ultimate VIP experience, the Club Level and VIP area offer unrivaled views and luxurious amenities, ensuring that every aspect of the entertainment experience is indulgent and unforgettable.

HBG Design Welcomes Ray Mabry, AIA, as Dallas Office Leader

HBG Design Welcomes Ray Mabry, AIA, Industry Veteran as Dallas Office Leader and Principal for its National Hospitality Practice

HBG Design is pleased to announce that Ray Mabry, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, has joined the firm’s national hospitality practice as HBG’s new Dallas Office Leader and Principal. Ray originally hails from Abilene, Texas, and is a long time Dallas resident. His 24-year career in architecture has taken him across the country and around the world as a design leader, working for the last twenty years with HKS Architects in Dallas. Ray will serve HBG Design clients as Principal-in-Charge and Project Manager.


Ray is a veteran of leading complex projects in the hospitality and entertainment market sector, making him a perfect fit to lead HBG’s projects in the space,” says Nathan Peak, AIA, LEED GA, Practice Leader at HBG Design. “He is committed to leading HBG’s Dallas Office with great passion and enthusiasm as he forges new frontiers in the national hospitality and entertainment industry and helps HBG cement our footprint in the Dallas metro area professional community.”

Ray brings a wealth of design leadership and project management experience in the commercial hospitality industry for clients under most major brand flags in both urban and resort locations. His experience in the gaming sector also includes commercial gaming projects mainly in Las Vegas and Asia for various operators, and most recently MGM National Harbor. Ray has a project portfolio that spans across Europe, Asia, South America, the Middle East, and the Caribbean and has been instrumental in delivering brand hospitality designs that include the Hotel Drover in the historic Fort Worth Stockyards and both The W Hotel and Omni Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee.

As Dallas Office Leader, Ray will deepen his specialized focus on premium and luxury brand hospitality, gaming/entertainment, and conference/event venue design.

I share HBG Design's philosophy of crafting memorable experiences”, says Ray. “I take great joy in designing places where guests can unwind and escape from their daily lives, while providing the best possible experiences to my clients and their guests."

Design Thinking: Resort Experiences for the Getaway Guest

Crafting Unforgettable Getaway Experiences: HBG Design's Expertise in Casino Resort Design

Welcome to HBG Design's exclusive Guest Journeys series, where we unravel the art of designing unforgettable experiences for casino resort guests. We are shining a spotlight on the getaway guest, exploring the key elements they seek when choosing their ideal weekend escape. As experts in hospitality and entertainment projects, HBG Design brings you four key elements we consider when designing for the getaway guest.


  1. Elevated Gaming Experience:

    Eagle Mountain Casino, Porterville, California

    For guests seeking a gaming-centric resort, HBG Design emphasizes creating a vibrant, immersive casino atmosphere. From arrival to departure, our goal is to elevate excitement, energy, and imagination, leaving guests eagerly anticipating their return.

  2. Escapism in Amenities:

    Cascades Pool Complex at Winstar World Casino Resort, Thackerville, OklahomaWe understand that guests in search of a getaway crave enticing amenities. Our resorts feature immersive pool experiences, on-site concert venues, and world-class spas. In-house concert venues inject an exciting energy, providing a dynamic live entertainment component that enhances the overall resort experience.

  3. Strategic Amenity Adjacencies:

    Oaklawn Racing Casino Resort, Hot Springs, AR

    HBG Design ensures that resort layouts are intuitive, facilitating easy navigation between gaming areas, accommodations, and entertainment venues. Clear wayfinding signage and well-planned amenity adjacencies ensure seamless access for all guests. We consider the flow of energy within the casino, creating distinct zones with varying atmospheres to cater to different preferences.

  4. Luxurious Accommodations:

    Four Winds South Bend Casino, Hotel and Spa - VIP Suite

    Our commitment to excellence extends to opulent and comfortable accommodations that exude luxury while providing the comforts of home. From suite-style rooms to high-end furnishings and modern amenities, we design premium experiences that resonate with our guests.

Join us in this exciting journey of creating unparalleled getaway experiences. At HBG Design, we continue to set the standard for excellence in casino resort design, ensuring each guest's escape is nothing short of extraordinary. Stay tuned for more insights and innovations as we redefine the art of hospitality and entertainment design.



A Solid Decade as a BD+C Hotel Design Powerhouse

HBG Design is honored to share that the firm has once again been ranked among the Top 5 Hotel Design firms in the Nation by Building Design + Construction Magazine’s Giants 400 Survey. This milestone marks a decade of unwavering commitment to excellence, as a Top 10 ranked hotel design giant since 2012. See the full Hotel Giants List. 

A Decade of Consistency:

For ten consecutive years, HBG Design has been a force to be reckoned with in BD+C's Hotel Architecture Firms survey. Our consistent presence in the top 10 is a testament to our ability to navigate the evolving landscape of hospitality design trends, client expectations, and industry dynamics while maintaining an unwavering commitment to innovation and quality.

Navigating Change with Precision:

Hyatt Centric and Caption by Hyatt in Downtown Memphis, Tennessee

As a BD+C Hotel Design Giant, HBG Design has not merely adapted to change; we've embraced it with precision. Our designs reflect an understanding of the dynamic nature of the industry, ensuring that each project remains not just relevant but a trailblazer in its own right.

Client Trust: The Cornerstone of Our "Design Giants" Status:

The Spa Tower at Winstar World Casino Resort Completed in 2023

At the core of our ‘Design Giants’ status is the trust and satisfaction of our clients. HBG Design’s client-centric approach, a hallmark of our success, ensures that every project is a collaborative journey, resulting in designs that not only meet but exceed expectations.

Team Synergy and Expertise:

The journey to becoming a BD+C Hotel Design Giant is a collective effort, and our talented team at HBG Design stands at the forefront. Architects, designers, and support staff collaborate seamlessly, bringing forth their expertise to craft spaces that tell unique stories and elevate the guest experience.

Looking Forward to the Next Decade:

As we celebrate a decade of excellence at the top of the BD+C Hotel Design Giant charts, HBG Design is geared up for the next chapter. Our commitment to designing experiences remains steadfast, and we look ahead to setting new standards, exploring innovative avenues, and continuing to be a giant in hotel design. 



Celebrating 9 Years of Excellence: HBG Design Named Top Workplace

We are thrilled to announce that HBG Design has once again secured its place among Memphis's Top Workplaces, marking an impressive 9-year streak of excellence! This recognition by the Commercial Appeal is a testament to our unwavering commitment to cultivating a workplace that values collaboration, innovation, and the well-being of our incredible team.

A Legacy of Workplace Excellence

For nearly a decade, HBG Design has been honored as a top workplace, a distinction that reflects the dedication and passion of our outstanding team members. This achievement is a source of immense pride for us, and it speaks volumes about the positive and inclusive culture we've worked hard to create.

Thank You to Our Amazing Team

Our success is a direct result of the hard work and talent that each team member brings to HBG Design. We extend our deepest gratitude to our exceptional employees who contribute their skills, creativity, and enthusiasm every day. Your commitment is the cornerstone of our success, and we are grateful to have such a remarkable team driving our continued growth.

Recognition from the Commercial Appeal

We are honored to receive this recognition from the Commercial Appeal, a respected source for news and insights in our community. Being listed among Memphis's Top Workplaces is not just an accolade for us—it's a celebration of the positive work environment we've collectively built.

A Commitment to Continued Excellence

As we celebrate this milestone, we are more committed than ever to maintaining a workplace that inspires, supports, and empowers our team members. Our journey doesn't end here; it's a continuous pursuit of excellence, growth, and creating a workplace where everyone feels valued.

Join Us in the Celebration

Join us in celebrating this incredible achievement! Follow our journey on social media, and stay tuned for insights into what makes HBG Design a top workplace in Memphis.

Thank you to our dedicated team, the Commercial Appeal, and our community for supporting us on this remarkable journey. Here's to many more years of success, collaboration, and a thriving workplace culture at HBG Design!

Explore the list of Memphis's Top Workplaces on the Commercial Appeal website.