Thousand Islands Casino completes $1M Renovation, New Slots added

When Great Canadian Gaming won the bid to take over operations at the Thousand Islands Casino near Gananoque, it came with an agreement in which the company promised to spend $13 million on improvements to the facility. The first phase of renovations were just completed, adding new slots and tables to the gaming floor, plus more seats in the restaurant.

Shorelines adds New Slots to Thousand Islands Casino

Shoreline Casinos, the subsidiary of Great Canadian Gaming that took charge of operations at Thousand Islands, announced the completion of round-one renovations at the 16 year old property on Wednesday.

According to Shoreline Casinos Executive Director, Andy LaCroix, the improvements were designated as solutions to what the company found to be the most crucial deficiencies when it took over operations in January.

The new slots and additional restaurant space cost the company nearly $1 million, but it was all worth it, said LaCroix. Thousand Islands Casino installed 40 more seats at its popular Getaway Restaurant, bringing the total to 140, while placing 43 new slots on the gaming floor, which now features 530 video gaming terminals.

More Renovations to Come

Andy LaCroix GM Shoreline Casinos

Andy LaCroix shows off GCG’s Lougheed complex in 2013, photo Maria Rantanen/TIMES

Great Canadian Gaming is still expected to invest around $12 million more into renovations and improvements at the Gananoque casino, as per its agreement when assuming responsibility for the gambling facility from the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation (OLG). LaCroix said his company expects to complete the investment over a series of projects between now and 2018.

He noted one of the very first things Shoreline Casinos noticed upon inspecting the existing condition of the facility back in January was that the Getaway Restaurant was in very high demand. With patrons flocking to the dining area in droves, it only made sense to capitalize on its popularity through an expansion. They did so by knocking out the wall and extending the restaurant into what was, at the time, the casino’s live poker room.

The poker room has since been moved elsewhere, while the extended gaming floor saw a few other extras. In addition to the new slots, Thousand Islands Casino now supplies two more baccarat tables; a game that’s seen a spike in popularity as more tourists visit the area.

According to LaCroix, there’s more room for expansion in the future, and the upcoming investments will surely reflect that fact. He said the casino’s license permits Thousand Islands to install a maximum of 600 slot machines, giving them leeway to place another 70 new slots on the floor as renovations progress.

Rising Revenue Good News for All

The operator’s executive director said the gaming facility has had an excellent year already, and that this past July appears to be the best in terms of patronage and revenue in the casino’s 16 year history. He said they’ve seen an increased number of visitors coming in from outlying areas, noting a heightened inflow from the provinces of Ottawa and Quebec, as well as the United States.

It’s our first summer there,” said LaCroix. “So we are pleased with the reaction and the support from the community and the tourists coming in.”

A boost in revenue generated by Thousand Islands Casino is good for everyone, not just the facility’s operator. Gananoque and Leeds Township split a shared revenue package that helps fund and promote community projects, while the OLG’s share is funneled into charitable organizations throughout the province.

Furthermore, Shoreline Casinos has a special program called PROUD in which its casinos will match the donations of staff members for local charities. Thus the company’s investments, bringing more restaurant space, new slots and extra table games to the facility, have been well received by the community at large.

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