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.