Mohegan Sun is showing off progress on its new hotel development in Uncasville, a project that tribal chairman Kevin Brown said proves its commitment to its roots.
Eight years ago, Mohegan Sun prepared a construction site where a second hotel was to rise near the already iconic glass tower of the Sky Hotel.
Just months later, the financial crash changed the script and that project had to be abandoned. But now the story has a second act.
Thursday, executives from general contractors A/Z Corporation showed off progress on a new building, walking a group of local lawmakers and reporters around the construction site where the 400-room Earth Hotel is taking shape.
The main structure is already up, and the glass exterior is being added.
State Senator Cathy Osten said she’s happy to see jobs being created in her district. "This is a physical piece of evidence that shows that the Mohegan Tribe is making that commitment to Eastern Connecticut," she said, "and I’m happy to finally see it come to fruition."
With the project on track, chairman of the Mohegan Tribe, Kevin Brown, is bullish.
“Now that the economy has turned, now that we’re succeeding at the slots — we’re having a great year, we’ve had a great couple of years actually — it’s the time,” Brown said.
The main focus of this new hotel will be to serve midweek convention business.
Mohegan Sun said that it’s currently turning away half a million potential hotel room nights each year because it doesn’t have the capacity. Brown said that while the tribe has been diversifying elsewhere, with possible projects from Korea to north central Connecticut, Mohegan Sun remains the mother ship.
"This is our flagship property, this is where we make an awful lot of money, and this is where we create an awful lot of jobs," said Brown. "So this place is going to survive, and the growth of this hotel is just one example of that."
The Earth Hotel is due to open in the fall of 2016.