A new tribal casino and resort prepares to open its doors in Alberta
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A new tribal casino and resort prepares to open its doors in Alberta

After much anticipation and years of preparation, Bears Hills Casino & Travel Resort is gearing up to open its doors to its esteemed guests this coming Spring

In preparation for this grand opening, this new tribal casino and resort hosted a VIP and media tour a few weeks prior, ensuring that the public will be well acquainted with what to expect from this new facility. 

Not only will the establishment of this new facility in Alberta, Canada provide ample space for gambling enthusiasts to take advantage of the myriad of facilities available, but the construction of this casino and resort will open up a plethora of employment opportunities for the residents of Maskwacis and Central Alberta

If you’d like to know what to expect from this new tribal casino and resort, keep reading this article where we will delve into all that there is to know about its imminent grand opening! 

More about the casino and resort 

Louis Bull Tribe, one of the four reserves in the community of Maskwacis, will be operating the casino and resort. 

The construction of the casino is located between the two cities of Ponoka and Wetaskiwin. It is situated just off the Queen Elizabeth 2 Highway, a very busy area that is expected to generate many visitors once its doors are opened. 

When describing the erection of this new facility, Gordon Rauscher, the President and CEO of Bear Hills, described the finalization of Bear Hill Casino & Travel Resort as “one giant step we’ve worked so diligently hard for.” 

He also stated that “The biggest key factor was the conversion to reserve land.” 

If everything goes as planned, this new tribal casino and resort is expected to start welcoming guests starting in Spring 2024, and the grand opening is expected to take place in May 2024

This date will only mark the very beginning of the casino and resort, as only the first phase of the land development project will be finalized by this point. 

In total, this land development project consists of five phases, the completion of which is expected to take a few years

Comments made by the CEO of Bear Hills Casino & Travel Resort 

The President and CEO of Bear Hills, Gordon Rauscher, made the following remarks in front of the individuals who attended the casino and resort’s VIP and media event: 

“It’s important to note that every one of you are here today because you have had a role in getting us to this place. Here, inside the walls of a casino that, just a few years ago, was not much more than a dream. Here, in a place that will provide job and career opportunities to more than 80 residents of Maskwacis and Central Alberta.” 

In addition to this, Rauscher also commented on the following: 

“The opening of the Bear Hills Casino this coming spring is a great achievement for the Louis Bull Tribe and will also bring a significant amount of economic activity to the Maskwacis and Wetaskiwin regions.”   

The press conference celebrating the upcoming grand opening 

The VIP and media event that was hosted recently to commemorate the upcoming grand opening of the tribal casino and resort featured more than 100 attendees

This event took place on March 6th, 2024

Amongst the many individuals who attended the event, the attendees included the community members of Louis Bull Tribe, tribe leadership, and several partners of the project, including TD Bank

In addition to this, the construction of this project is fully backup up by Alberta Gaming, Liquor, and Cannabis (AGLC), as well as by First Nations Bank of Canada (FNBC)

The approval for the construction of Bear Hills Casino & Travel Resort was first finalized in 2019

This new tribal casino and resort was designed with the intention of attracting numerous gambling enthusiasts and to create plenty of new employment and career opportunities for the individuals residing in the province of Alberta. 

At the end of the speech that he made during the press conference, Rauscher remarked on the following: 

“Economic reconciliation is economic in partnership between First Nations and outside communities. This jewel along the QEII will be a grand example in Alberta of economic reconciliation.” 

What has been finalized so far 

At this moment in time, the first phase of construction of this new tribal casino and resort has been completed, already offering numerous part-time and full-time job opportunities to the residents of Alberta.  

Once finalized, Bear Hills Casino & Resort will become one of the largest employers in the entire region of Maskwacis and Central Alberta. 

Since all the available positions of this new facility must be filled in from scratch, its construction provides ample opportunities for the locals of the province, enabling individuals from all facilities and with various skill sets to apply.  

The recruiting of key positions in the facility has already begun, with the expectation of these vacancies being filled in by the end of March of this year.  

Following this, the training of these new personnel is expected to come to an end in April 2024

With regards to this, the Director of Socio-Economic Development at Louis Bull Tribe and Board Director of Bear Jills Casino, Erika Bull-Giroux, made the following comments: 

“Louis Bull Tribe is fast becoming one of the newest and largest private employers in Central Alberta. We are seeking enthusiast applicants who are interested in building their career with us.” 

In addition to this, Bull-Giroux went on to say that the revenue that will be garnered from this project will allow the Louis Bull Tribe to “practice their own sovereignty so they won’t have to advocate so hard for programming and funding.” 

More about the Louis Bull Tribe 

The Louis Bull Tribe forms part of the Cree Nations, which is the largest group of First Nations that are living in Canada. 

Once the construction of Bear Hills Casino & Travel Resort is completed, it will be fully owned and operated by the Louis Bull Tribe. 

The Cree Nations belongs to the Four Nations of Maskwacis

In total, the tribe currently has approximately 2,380 general tribal members, including a government consisting of a Chief and 6 Council members

The Louis Bull Tribe possesses over 3,127 hectares of tribal land that is encompassed by the Ermineskin Cree Nation, the County of Wetaskiwin No. 10, and the County of Ponoka in Central Alberta. 

What to expect from this new tribal casino and resort 

Once its construction will come to an end, Bear Hills Casino & Travel Resort will provide plenty of facilities that will be a tremendous benefit to the residents of Alberta, Canada. 

Amongst these, Albertans can expect to take advantage of the following: 

  • Petro-Canda petroleum station 

  • Public facilities for highway travelers 

  • The casino 

  • A performance stage 

  • A modern Hotel 

  • Event/Cultural center 

  • Various restaurants  

In an interview that took place before the start of the press conference, Gordon Rauscher, the President and CEO of Bear Hills, remarked on the way in which “We’re providing important services for highway travelers.” 

Later, he added that “This is a development that will benefit the whole Wetaskiwin-Maskwacis region.” 

The casino section of the facility will provide gambling enthusiasts with a welcoming space in which they can utilize over 200 slot machines and 10 table games

In addition to this, a wide range of popular gaming entertainment options will be available, including live entertainment options that will take up approximately 30.000 square feet. 

This section will include a modern lounge and a performance stage. Various quick-serve food options, washrooms, and a marketplace will also be available for visitors to take advantage of. 

All these facilities have been implemented with the aim of satisfying all types of visitors that will pay a visit to the upcoming casino and resort. 

In this way, one can expect the completion of this new facility to emerge as a very promising venture, securing over 80 available positions in the job market and boosting the economy and quality of life in the province of Alberta, Canada substantially. 

About the authorMelanie Cazenave
63 articles
✅ Reviewed by Head of Content
Expertise :
A specialist in online casinos, she also loves proofreading. With her, it's impossible for mistakes to slip through the cracks. A true lover of letters, she binds articles and retouches them to make them as perfect as possible.

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