A casino set against the rolling hills of Wyoming’s prairies is having a difficult time surviving in this changing economy. The Shoshone Rose Casino and Hotel in Lander is being forced to make a number of changes in order to stay viable as its revenue continues to drop and the venue’s management has announced that a number of layoffs and a reduction in working hours is coming. In addition, it finds itself forced to eliminate table games at certain times.
According to a report by the Casper Star-Tribune, as many as 20 employees could find themselves looking for new work soon. The gaming area of the casino is going to close nightly Sunday through Thursday, but the exact schedule of changes hasn’t been released. In addition, there will no longer ben shuttle service or banquet operations.
The venue is operated by the Eastern Shoshone Tribe of the Wind River Reservation. It has fallen on hard times due to lower foot traffic and is hoping it can make changes to turn things around. According to the tribe’s business council chairman, Vernon Hill, “This has been a difficult process for the (Eastern Shoshone Business Council) but we will do everything we can to bring back these jobs once the casino stabilizes.”
The tribal leaders will gather on June 18 to discuss the changes, many of which are still to be implemented. It’s possible that further cuts could be introduced as a result of that meeting, as well.
RTC Gaming Consulting, an advisory firm that concentrates on casino operations, made the recommendations to the tribe following a study of its operations. The end result should be an increase in revenue and lower costs, but part of the money saved will then be used to increase the venue’s marketing efforts.
The casino first opened its doors in 2007 and then went through a $30-million upgrade in 2015. That upgrade added a hotel and more dining options, as well as increased the gaming floor before the venue reopened in 2016.
Tribal casinos in the state like Shoshone Rose and the Wind River Hotel and Casino might be getting a boost, in a way, from the state. Wyoming Attorney General (AG) Peter Michael has stated that electronic gaming machines commonly found in restaurants and bars are illegal under state law, and that local authorities need to start cracking down. This could potentially, in some small way, drive more gamblers to visit the tribal venues, which are not impacted by the AG’s decision.