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Four Winds South Bend hotel on track to open in 2023

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Gemma DiCarlo/WVPE
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Two years ago, Four Winds Casino broke ground on a 23-story, 317-room hotel in South Bend. Now, the facility is under construction and on track to open in early 2023.

On a tour of the building Wednesday, Four Winds Chief Operating Officer Frank Freedman pointed out spaces that will one day become executive suites, conference rooms, a day spa and a grand ballroom.

 

The building’s entire third floor is dedicated to just four suites and a private pool, as well as reception space. Freedman said it could be rented out for post-conference socializing or entertaining.

 

“If you’re hosting a business meeting here, and [you have] your clients and you want to entertain them after your business meetings, that floor will accommodate that type of guest request,” Freedman said. “The floor has great views, big rooms, bars, a pool, a restaurant. It’s something I think that the area just hasn’t seen yet.”

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Credit Gemma DiCarlo/WVPE
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Four Winds Casino broke ground on its 23-story South Bend hotel in 2019. It's expected to be completed in 2023.

Freedman said those types of amenities will help make Four Winds a destination for visitors from cities like Fort Wayne and Indianapolis – bringing more tourism dollars to South Bend.

“Currently, about 70, 75 percent of our business is localized – comes from within about 15 or 20 minutes of this property,” Freedman said. “And we’re vibrantly busy already, so we’re really excited about reaching those new markets.”

 

The hotel will also allow Four Winds to host non-gaming social events, which Freedman said they can’t always accommodate at their New Buffalo location.

 

“We have requests for those types of events, but we’re limited – based on the physical plant there – in being able to accommodate that kind of business,” he said. “So synergies between New Buffalo and South Bend, where one will really feed off the other.”

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Credit Gemma DiCarlo/WVPE
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The view of downtown South Bend from the top floor of Four Winds' 23-story hotel tower. The facility is expected to be completed in 2023.

For guests that do gamble, though, the casino is also expanding its gaming floor – an extra 40,000 square feet is expected to open next fall. Freedman said that expansion will include around 6,000 more slot machines and 12 to 15 more table games – but those are “moving targets.”

“We recently became a Class III operation and we added table games,” he said. “So as we watch that piece of business, we may want to reassess and add in more table games.”

 

Freedman said COVID-related supply chain issues and labor shortages haven’t affected the casino’s construction projects – he said the hotel is still on track to open in the first quarter of 2023.

 

“To say it’s not a concern would be inaccurate. Most certainly, it’s a concern,” Freedman said. “But we’ve been fortunate to have the manpower and the strategy in place to be nimble and make changes as we’ve been going.”

 

Freedman said he expects the hotel to generate 300 to 400 jobs once it’s complete. 

 

Four Winds Casino is a financial supporter of WVPE.

 

Contact Gemma atgdicarlo@wvpe.orgor follow her on Twitter at@gemma_dicarlo.

 

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Gemma DiCarlo comes to Indiana by way of Athens, Georgia. She graduated from the University of Georgia in 2020 with a degree in Journalism and certificates in New Media and Sustainability. She has radio experience from her time as associate producer of Athens News Matters, the flagship public affairs program at WUGA-FM.