Published January 18, 2018
SOUTH BEND, INDIANA – The Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians and its Four Winds Casinos are pleased to announce their newest property, located on 166-acres of tribal trust land in northern Indiana and the first casino in the state of Indiana owned and operated by a American Indian tribe, officially opened to the public on Tuesday.
The casino, Four Winds South Bend, shares the Four Winds brand with other Pokagon casino locations in New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac, Mich.
More than 300 invited guests joined John P. Warren, Chairman of the Pokagon Band, Frank Freedman, Chief Operating Officer of Four Winds Casinos and Ernie Stevens, Chairman of the National Indian Gaming Association at a ribbon cutting ceremony that took place Tuesday at 12 p.m. EST. Tribal members performed drum songs as part of the grand opening celebration, and tribal veterans posted flags, prior to an invocation and remarks by invited guests.
Then, at 4 p.m., the doors were officially open to the public.
“This is an incredibly exciting time for all of us and we’re pleased to have you here today,” Freedman said. “This ribbon cutting signifies the work of hundreds of people over the course of the past 13 months. We’re proud to cut this ribbon today for the first tribal casino in the state of Indiana and the fourth Four Winds property.”
“This will be an entertainment destination for the region,” Freedman continued. “We’ve hired and trained over 1,200 of the best people to provide the same superior level of quality and service our guests have come to expect from the Four Winds brand. We offer more than just gaming; we’re excited to bring four new dining experiences to the South Bend region—including Copper Rock Steakhouse, The Buffet, Kankakee Grille and Timbers.”
“From the moment of groundbreaking through this ribbon cutting, the positive support from local, county and state governments has been extraordinary,” said John P. Warren, Chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians. “We could not have done this without the support of many people and agencies. We also extend our gratitude to the Pokagon Elders Council and Pokagon Gaming Authority, along with the entire Tribal Government. Without their knowledge and guidance, we would not be here today.”
Partners supporting the Pokagon Band and Four Winds Casinos in the construction of Four Winds South Bend include architect, HBG Design, Memphis, Tenn.; civil engineer, Wightman and Associates, Benton Harbor, Mich.; construction management company, F.A. Wilhelm, Indianapolis, Ind.; and owners representative, Kramer Management Group, Lansing Mich.
Four Winds South Bend has 175,000 square feet and includes 1,800 games, four restaurants, a players lounge, a coffee shop, three bars, a retail outlet, and approximately 4,500 parking spaces including an enclosed parking structure. The casino has hired more than 1,200 people to date. The casino is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.