Oneida Nation Plans Large-Scale Turning Stone Resort Expansion in New York

The Oneida Indian Nation has announced a bold expansion plan for its Turning Stone Resort Casino in Upstate New York.

Turning Stone
Turning Stone
An aerial shot of the Turning Stone Resort Casino, operated by the Oneida Indian Nation in Verona, NY. The tribal nation announced this week that it plans a substantial expansion of the resort, including a new hotel tower, additional meeting space, and other amenities. (Image: Oneida Nation Enterprises)

While the gaming facility would not be expanded in the multi-year project, the Oneida’s project includes building a new hotel tower similar to the same size as Turning Stone’s Tower Hotel, which would accommodate 250 guest rooms.

The project would also essentially double the convention and conference space at the resort located in Verona, which is about 30 miles east of Syracuse off the New York Thruway. It will also include new restaurants, outdoor spaces, and other amenities.

Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter said the expansion is the largest for the resort in 20 years, and it’s needed to keep Turning Stone competitive as a tourist and conference attraction.

Today, we are experiencing record demand for hosting conferences and other events at Turning Stone that far outpaces our current hotel and convention facilities,” Halbritter said. “This extensive multi-year expansion project will help us meet this rising need and even greater demand in the future. Our 30-year track record has proven that investments like this are essential to sustain the growth and success of our enterprises and the entire region.”

The tribal nation did not divulge the estimated amount for the expansion, but Joel Barkin, Oneida Indian Nation’s vice president of communications, told in an email that it was “well into nine figures.”

Hundreds of Jobs to be Created

While planning for the expansion is underway, a groundbreaking won’t take place until sometime next year, according to the nation’s release.

The Oneidas have selected Gensler to be the architectural firm for the expansion. Its portfolio of developments includes MGM Resorts International’s CityCenter, the Gaylord National Hotel and Convention Center in Washington, DC, and Walt Disney World’s Swan Reserve.

“This expansion will introduce some game-changing features to this incredible property, and we are very excited to add this expansion to our portfolio of world-class hospitality and convention projects,” Gensler Design Director Lester Yuen said in a statement.

Hayner Hoyt of Syracuse will serve as the project’s general contractor, and the tribal nation will partner with Central New York trade unions to fill the hundreds of construction jobs.

The completed project will also lead to hundreds of new permanent positions within the resort.

“Today’s announcement by the Oneida Indian Nation is further evidence of the region’s growing tourism economy and economic recovery from the global pandemic… We see this large-scale development as a positive for area businesses who are looking for meeting and convention venues, as well as for those in search of world-class recreational activity,” said Steven DiMeo, president of Mohawk Valley EDGE, the region’s economic development agency.

Latest Development for Oneidas

The Oneida Nation’s expansion announcement comes just a couple of months after the tribal nation launched an affordable housing initiative. The tribe opened an employee-only apartment complex, offering new hires at the casino access to one-, two-, or three-bedroom apartments.

Additional units within the 50-unit The Villages at Stoney Creek are set to open this month.

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