In preparation for the upcoming opening of the permanent Kansas Star Casino, the Hampton Inn and Suites Mulvane/Kansas Star Casino opened its doors for its first guests Tuesday afternoon.
“I like everything I’ve seen so far,” said John Woodward of Wichita, who with his wife, Dorinda, booked the first room with the hotel in celebration of Dorinda’s recent birthday.
“It’s some beautiful work in here.”
The hotel, located at Exit 33 off the Kansas Turnpike, is the only Hampton Inn in the country connected to a casino, said Elias Thompson, general manager.
“If you just threw a casino in here, you’re not going to have guests coming from Oklahoma or Dodge (City) or wherever else to gamble, stay and spend some money in the economy,” Thompson said.
“We want to turn this into a destination area for Wichita and for central Kansas.”
The 150-room hotel employs 23 staff members, Thompson said. All hotel employees are registered with the Kansas Racing and Gaming Commission.
Construction costs for the hotel were between $15 million and $20 million, said Rick Wantland, senior superintendent for general contractor McPherson Contractors out of Topeka.
About two-thirds of the project’s subcontractors were from Wichita, Wantland said.
Groundbreaking was held on Oct. 18, 2011, and construction was completed about two months ahead of schedule.
“This hotel will be a great amenity for our patrons once we open our expansion in the next couple of weeks,” said Scott Cooper, Kansas Star Casino general manager.
The casino’s parent company, Peninsula Gaming, partnered with Hampton and has an ownership interest in the hotel, Cooper said.
Rooms cost from $109 to $139 per night for typical rooms, Thompson said.
The hotel will hold its grand opening celebration from 4 to 6 p.m. Nov. 9. There will be appetizers, a wine tasting and a chance to win dinner and two free nights at the hotel.
To RSVP, contact Kathy Berglind at email@example.com.
Kansas Star Casino
The permanent Kansas Star Casino is slated to open by the end of the year, but an official date has not been announced.
The casino, which will replace the temporary facility, will have more than 1,800 slot machines, 45 table games, a 10-table poker room and five restaurants.
So far, it’s hired about 600 employees and expects to employ more than 1,000 people once complete.
Figures released at the end of September by the Kansas Lottery showed the casino’s gaming revenue exceeded $14.5 million for the month.
Since it opened, Kansas Star Casino has generated more than $31 million for the state, and more than $4.3 million for local governments, including the city of Mulvane, Sumner County and Sedgwick County, according to the Kansas Lottery.