Wittenberg casino expansion opens after long development

$33M site includes new hotel, restaurant

Evan J. Pretzer news@wolfrivermedia.com

Leader photo by Evan J. Pretzer Representatives from chambers of commerce in Wittenberg, Wausau, Shawano County, the Green Bay area Fox Cities and Antigo cut the ceremonial ribbon at the Ho-Chunk Nation’s Wittenberg casino expansion on July 11. The casino opened its wider format after a year of development and legal action from a rival casino operating tribe in the area.

The Ho-Chunk Nation’s expansion to their gaming facility in Wittenberg opened Wednesday after first breaking ground in 2016 .

Though the Stockbridge-Munsee Community Band of Mohican Indians, which owns the nearby North Star Mohican Casino Resort in Bowler, tried to stop the project with a claim that it violated state gaming compacts, a federal court ruled the statute of limitations had passed, leaving the Ho-Chunk with clearance to go ahead and focus on the site and its future.

The project cost the tribe about $33 million

“The whole project includes a larger lobby, an 86-room hotel and a new and renovated snack bar,” Ho-Chunk Gaming Senior Public Relations Manager Katrina Wychesit said. “We always try our best to listen to our guests and our guests wanted more options. We really listened, and fortunately, we were able to produce. As for any future expansion, I can’t comment on that at this time, nothing is really final at this point.”

Other additions to the casino include a non-smoking gaming floor, larger lobby and two full service bars. To service the larger space, 90 new and permanent jobs were added, for Wychesit, this positive contribution to the economy is one of the best parts of the expansion.

“We’re so excited to offer this upgrade and promote expanded tourism in the village of Wittenberg,” she said.

In an opening ceremony, Ho-Chunk officials said the Wittenberg casino is one of the better performing locations for the Ho-Chunk Nation’s gaming business. At this time, officials have no estimation on when the money spent on the expansion will have been earned back by the casino.