Casino Design 2019 Issue, BUILDING EXCITEMENT

Winds of Fortune

By Robert Rossiello   Tue, Jul 31, 2019

Four Winds New Buffalo in New Buffalo, Michigan


The Four Winds Casino Resort in New Buffalo now has something for everyone.
Owned by the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians, Four Winds New Buffalo debuted a new expansion that adds to the tribe’s branded Four Winds Casino properties. The upgrades include a nine-story, 250-room hotel tower, the multi-use Silver Creek Event Center, and the popular Hard Rock Café.
The new tower, with a mix of standard rooms and suites, doubles the original property’s capacity. Creating a seamless design that reinforces the character, materials and palette of the existing property was paramount to the tribe.
“Maintaining brand integrity and cultural identity were critical design criteria,” says Nathan Peak, lead designer and senior associate at Hnedak Bobo Group, the project’s lead architect. “Our design team achieved these goals through the use of similar, yet contemporized exterior and interior materials that evoke a regional, rustic and welcoming environment. Special attention was also given to creating unique details that reference tribal symbolism.”
All hotel rooms include granite counter tops, leather-wrapped headboards, Serta beds, flat-screen Sony Bravia high-definition televisions and wireless high-speed internet access. All suites have a walk-in shower, Kohler whirlpool tubs with complimentary bath salts and signature spa robe, and a wet bar with a refrigerator and microwave.
In addition to the hotel tower, the resort’s new multi-function, 70,000-square-foot Silver Creek Event Center offers limitless opportunities for entertainment and conferencing. Named for a nearby creek culturally significant to the Pokagon tribe, the Event Center can seat over 1,500 guests and can be configured into multiple sizes to accommodate different uses—concerts, meetings, special events, conferences and banquets.
One of the most anticipated aspects of the project was the Hard Rock Café Four Winds, a partnership between the casino and Hard Rock International, which owns the world’s greatest collection of music memorabilia. Located adjacent to the gaming floor, the 12,000-square-foot Hard Rock Café spans two floors and includes a new entrance, two bars, restaurant seating for over 275 people, a raised stage, and retail.
“A large guitar element pulls guests in with neon LED lights used as the instrument’s strings,” says Peak.  
Wooden textures, stones and warm colors were mixed with pops of red, hot pink and sparkling mosaic to distinguish the venue as a Hard Rock Cafe while integrating it with the rest of the Four Winds New Buffalo property. A modern interpretation of stacked stone is used on the entry walls and throughout the interior of the space. “The wooden textures were placed against smooth granite at the center bar, which also features a large canopy screen that serves as a lighting element and can feature a light show for concerts or special occasions,” says Peak. “The expansion of Four Winds New Buffalo is another step in fulfilling our long-term vision for the property,” said Matt Wesaw, chairman of the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.

OWNER: Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians
BUILDERS: The Christman Company & Kraus-Anderson Construction Company
THEME CONTRACTOR: Cost of Wisconsin

By Robert Rossiello

Robert Rossiello is the Art Director for Casino Design magazine and Casino Connection Online, as well as a contributing editor to Global Gaming Business magazine.

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