Fort Randall Casino
Pickstown, South Dakota
The Fort Randall Casino expansion is a 31,500-square-foot addition to the previous casino featuring a striking new entrance and expanded gaming area. The addition houses 350 slot machines, ten blackjack tables, and many customer amenities, including Player’s Club, guest services area, and a gift shop. A state-of-the-art heating, cooling, and ventilation system provides crystal clean air throughout the facility. The grand lobby provides a new entrance to the casino and also provides a grand entrance to a future hotel and convention center. The lobby features a buffalo mural created from the original artwork of Dakota Sioux artist JoAnne Bird. The painting was created specifically for this project.
The expansion includes colors and symbolism that represents the Yankton Sioux Tribe’s culture. The front of the building has seven massive light fixtures shaped like fires that represent the Seven Council Fires of the Great Sioux Nation.
The project also included the partial demolition and remodel of the existing casino and modifications to the grounds and parking areas. A second phase is planned, which will include a hotel, a convention center, restaurants, a lounge, an indoor swimming facility, and an additional gaming floor.
Shingobee was brought on board the project late in the design and budgeting process when the Tribe was struggling with escalating costs for the project. We consulted with the architect (English and Smart Architects of St. Paul, MN) on the budget for the project, provided a bid during the competitive bidding process, and were awarded the project based on providing the low project bid, which was well within the Yankton Sioux’s budget.
Work started in September 2010 and proceeded ahead of schedule through the harsh winter months. The Tribe’s most critical issue during construction was keeping the existing casino open and providing revenue throughout the construction period. Because the expansion was an addition at the front of the existing casino, extra attention was given to creating obvious entrances and maintaining access to the casino. Parking and entrances had to be moved periodically during the different phases of construction, but access was maintained. The casino shut down for only two days in mid-June 2011 to reboot the machines and hook them up in the new gaming area.
Grand Opening of the new facility was held in June 2011, following a nine-month construction, coinciding with the 20th anniversary of the opening of Fort Randall Casino in June 1991. The Tribe’s schedule and budget for the project were met; in fact, the final contract amount was reduced due to Shingobee’s cost control measures. The casino’s business dropped off somewhat during construction, but bounced back immediately when the new facility opened, with strong business for the Father’s Day and Fourth of July weekends. Fort Randall’s gaming customers have turned out in great numbers and are delighted with the casino expansion.
"When you walk through the old casino to get to the new, it's like walking into the future, it’s so beautiful," said Samantha Wade, Fort Randall Marketing Director.