New heights for Oneidas when Point Place Casino opens March 1

Published Feb 16, 2018 at 12:00pm

The Oneida Indian Nation is expanding into new vistas with a series of new and recently-opened gaming and food venues.

The nation offers triple the gaming fun when it opens Point Place Casino in Bridgeport on March 1.

This will be the third casino opened by the Oneidas, joining Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, which opened in June 2015, and the sprawling, award-winning Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, which opened in 1993.

Point Place will open on the western edge of Madison County 10 months after construction began. It will be a 65,000 square-foot, smoke-free facility that offers 500 slot machines and 20 table games. The casino will feature two fast-casual restaurants, The Burgers of Madison County and Wicked Good Pizza. Wicked Good Pizza is a pizzeria that first opened at Yellow Brick Road Casino.

A second location is located at Turning Stone. The Bridgeport location will also be home to the Fireside Lounge and the Paddle Bar.

“Point Place Casino employees are in training now,” said Joel Barkin, vice president of communications for the Oneidas.

The gambling venue is filling more than 200 permanent jobs. These include table game dealers, slot service representatives, cooks, bartenders, beverage servers and security officers. Positions on the grand opening team are still available. The casino held job fairs in January and December.

“With the grand opening about a month away, we don’t currently have any more job fairs planned. For the grand opening, we will have about 250 employees,” said Barkin.

The Yellow Brick Road Casino has attracted gaming enthusiasts to Chittenango, also in Madison County, since opening 2 1/2 years ago. It employs 250 workers in various management, gaming and food service capacities. The Tin Woodsman’s Flask, a 17,000-square-foot liquor store that employs 12, was recently opened next to Yellow Brick Road Casino.

Both Yellow Brick Road and Point Place border Onondaga County, whose population is the largest in Central New York and has no casinos within its boundaries. The tribe has exclusive gaming rights in a 10-county area.

Del Lago Resort & Casino is 40 miles to the west in Seneca County, just off the Thruway, and is the next closest casino to the Syracuse market.

Turning Stone:
Entertainment mecca

Turning Stone Resort Casino, 5218 Patrick Road, Verona, has been entertaining guests from Central New York and around the country since 1993. Attracting more than 4.5 million visitors a year, it offers numerous gaming opportunities, including slot machines and table games like blackjack, craps, roulette and poker, as well as an array of dining choices and entertainment options.

There’s a steady flow of big-name entertainers at the Event Center and the Showroom.

The casino has been lauded across the board for its quality games, luxury accommodations, outstanding golf and expert staff. It received nine first-place wins for Best Hotel, Best Suite, Best Golf Course, Best Table Game Tournament, Best Poker Tournament, Best Blackjack, Best Craps and Best Live Poker. 

In 2017 Turning Stone was recognized for its top amenities and superior guest service, including three Forbes Travel Guide Four Star Awards, three AAA Four Diamond Awards, two Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence, and TripAdvisor’s Certificate of Excellence.

Forbes Travel Guide gave The Lodge hotel a Four Star rating for the second consecutive year. The Wildflowers Restaurant and the Ska:na Spa were new Four Star Award winners.

Ska:na is the only spa in New York state to receive a Forbes rating last year, according to the announcement by Forbes Travel Guide and Turning Stone. The spa offers everything from massages and body treatments to facials and salon services.

Wildflowers Restaurant is located at The Lodge and features traditional continental cuisine choices and staff service. The Wildflowers staff is led by Executive Chef Ron Ross, a three-time James Beard award recipient.

As far as sports offerings, it has putting greens, a full-service pro shop and six tennis courts, plus multiple golf courses.

The casino’s pro-quality golf courses, which include Atunyote, Kaluhyat and Shenendoah, have earned several awards from respected national golf magazines, including Golfweek and Golf Digest.

New directions

In 2017, the nation, with more than 4,5000 employees, moved forward on multiple fronts. Turning Stone Resort added the Noodle Noodle dining option to their food court, which was added to Turning Stone in 2016.

Also, the Oneidas opened a new convenience store brand, Maple Leaf Market, in Sherrill. The nation plans to open additional Maple Leaf Market stores this year.

“We’re currently planning the grand opening of our next Maple Leaf Market in Chittenango, which is scheduled to open late February,” said Barkin. “We will be announcing the third Maple Leaf Market location shortly.”

The brand focuses on fresh, made-to-order food and convenient grab-and-go options. Its menu features fresh hot and cold sandwiches, soups, salads, pastas, fresh-cut fruit and vegetables, freshly-brewed gourmet coffee and more. Maple Leaf Market also offers a variety of items from regional companies.

The Maple Leaf Market brand is in addition to the SavOn gas and convenience stores.

The nation also owns and operates Turning Stone’s RV Park and three marinas.

The Villages at Turning Stone RV Park is situated near Turning Stone Casino along Route 365 in Verona and is open May through October. Each of its 175 paved sites includes utility hookup and wireless internet service.

“The RV park features nature trails, a recreational area for bocce ball, horse shoes, tennis, basketball and volleyball and separate ponds for paddle boating and fishing,” said Barkin said.

In addition, there’s a heated pool and Jacuzzi.

The nation also caters to boaters.

Marion Manor Marina is located on the southeast shore of Oneida Lake near the intersection of Routes 13 and 31. Snug Harbour Marina is located on Route 13 south of Sylvan Beach. Mariner’s Landing Marina, situated on the southeast shore of Oneida Lake, is on Pioneer Avenue, Sylvan Beach.