Wetumpka Casino Expansion Nears Completion


By Josh Ninke

It's been about one year since construction began on the Creek Casino hotel in Wetumpka.

With the end in sight, how is the city going to take advantage of the expanded business?
The Poarch Creek Indians are pouring almost $300 million into this expansion, which includes not only the new 20 story hotel, but a new gambling area as well.
The city hopes this will bring more people to downtown Wetumpka. 
"There will be people coming in staying two or three or four days. We hope to be able to provide some other things within the city for them to do while they're here. Our plan is to connect the city's river walk over the the PCI property," said Wetumpka Mayor Jerry Willis. 
One business owner isn't sure that will be enough to lure customers away from the casino and into town.
"The casino, people are going to come to the casino and they're going to have a place to stay, a place to eat and there's not a lot of reason for them to be downtown," said Donald Carey. 
But others are glad that there are more jobs coming to the area. The casino expects to bring in about 500 new jobs with its expansion, and Wetumpka resident Donald Kendrick says that people everywhere need help finding work.
"I'm not just going to say Wetumpka, but it's like that all over. Anything that bring jobs, and they put back into the schools and the community, anything's a plus," said Kendrick.
Mayor Willis says he's been impressed with the work, even during the rainy weather we've had recently. 
"Construction has never slowed down, with all the rains we've had they've continued to work everyday. It's getting very close," said the mayor. 
Some of the new gambling areas are expected to open this December and the hotel should be up and running the beginning of 2014. 

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