On Wednesday morning, Bear Hills Casino and Travel Resort has officially broken ground. The new complex south of Edmonton, Alberta, will come with gaming, dining, gas options and more. Louis Bull Tribe Chief Desmond Bull promises that the new establishment will bring prosperity to his people and it will be a step towards truth and reconciliation.
The new gaming establishment will be located on Queen Elizabeth II Highway, between Highways 611 and 613, and it is slated to launch in late 2023. It will come with a number of services and amenities, such as a fancy restaurant, a gas station, and an open-air amphitheatre-type area, making it the perfect place to stop by and rest from your travels.
Construction Has Started
In an interview this week, Bull explained that under the current Treaty the Nation is required to share the land and help local communities. The multi-million project is already 30 years in the making, and Bull explained that the casino and gas station will be the first build on the site. While there are also plans for an event centre and a hotel for the future.
Chief Executive Officer of the Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission, Kandice Machado, said that the Crown has partnered with the Tribe for the project. She explained that the regulator is now estimating and evaluating revenue and location data and all other aspects of operating a casino to make sure that it will be a successful gaming establishment.
Once completed, the casino will become the sixth First Nations-owned gaming amenity in the province of Alberta and the first one to be launched on the Queen Elizabeth II Highway. It will be located 60 km south of the Edmonton International Airport. Meanwhile, the Louis Bull Tribe owns 100% of the project, however, but noted that the tribe is willing to work with other Nations to expand it.
On top of that, Bull commented that a future stop on an Alberta high-speed rail connection between Edmonton and Calgary is something of interest to him. However, the tribe will now focus on the new complex at QEII. Construction has already begun and it should be finished by the end of 2023. It is expected to generate hundreds of jobs for the Louis Bull Tribe community.
More on the Province’s Gaming Amenities
More recent news from the province’s gaming establishments includes the redevelopment of Track On 2 at Highway 2 and Highway 12 just outside of Lacombe. The Horse Racing and Event Centre has now been equipped with over 80 slot machines and eight VLTs. According to the Crown, the venue should be opened to the public by October 28, 2022.
Meanwhile, up north Edmontonians have expressed their discontent with the potential relocation of a Camrose casino to their neighbourhood. The City council has also announced that it sides with the community on the matter and sent a list of concerns to the AGLC about the impact of Capital City Casinos keeping its rural license even after a possible relocation.
Source: Amato, Sean “New QEII casino south of Edmonton will promote ‘living together in harmony,’ Chief says”, CTV News, October 26, 2022