Mohegan Sun Gets HoB

Mohegan Sun resort and casino will undergo a $740 million expansion, including the first new House of Blues theatre and restaurant to be announced since its acquisition November 3rd by Live Nation.

The Uncasville, Conn., resort will build a 1,000-room House of Blues-themed hotel, including a 1,500-seat HoB concert venue.

The hotel will provide “a unique House of Blues experience” including separate registration desk, 300 specifically themed HoB rooms and a members-only Foundation Room on the upper floors. The HoB aesthetic will also be employed in a retail outlet and 45-table poker room.

The House of Blues music hall is expected to include a 300-seat casual dining restaurant, featuring the brand’s trademark Southern cuisine. The venue is expected to open in fall 2009, with the rest of the hotel and casino expansion slated for completion in 2010.

Mohegan Sun will own and fully operate the hotel and non-music HoB-themed amenities, with House of Blues focusing on the live music end and management of the club and its facilities.

“Mohegan Sun is one of the most extraordinary gaming and entertainment destinations in the U.S.,” HoB’s Greg Trojan said. “To collaborate with the Mohegan Tribe in this new endeavor provides Live Nation and House of Blues a remarkable opportunity to showcase our unique brand of hospitality and entertainment in a premier setting.”

Live Nation – Connecticut President Jim Koplik added: “I have personally been promoting concerts in Connecticut for more than 35 years, bringing the biggest artists in the world to this great state.

“To be able to finally promote club shows at the most respected club venue brand in the world will be hugely beneficial for both the artist community and the music fans who love coming to see live entertainment at Mohegan Sun.”

In addition to the House of Blues venue and hotel, the Mohegan Sun expansion also calls for 115,000 square feet of additional retail and restaurant space and a new 64,000-square-foot “Casino of the Wind,” the resort announced November 16th.

The new casino will include 42,000 square feet of gaming space including 900 slot machines, 10 tables and the House of Blues poker room.

Mohegan Sun will expand its gaming and other amenities catering to an expanding Asian clientele, including a 5,000-square-foot bus lobby, a “Hong Kong” street food outlet and 46 new tables including games such as Sic Bo and Pai Gow Poker.

The southeastern Connecticut resort is already one of the country’s largest, but the expansion will put it on relatively equal footing with Foxwoods Resort Casino, which now claims to be the world’s largest casino with 340,000 square feet of gambling space.

With Atlantic City experiencing a resurgence and Las Vegas continuing to expand, Mohegan Sun officials recognize they have to compete with more than the rival Foxwoods. Bringing in House of Blues and Live Nation certainly accomplishes that.

“If you look at the amenities being built, there are more forms of entertainment. You need more than a casino,” Mohegan Sun chief exec Mitchell Etess told the New York Times. “The expansion will allow us to continue to compete not only with East Coast casinos, but those in Las Vegas as well.”

The announcement marks the second major expansion of Mohegan Sun in its 10-year history, the last being a $1.2 billion project that began in 2000 and included a sports arena and theatre.

When completed, the expansion will have more than 1.4 million square feet and is expected to create 1,500 jobs, according to the NYT. Etess told the paper he expects Mohegan Sun to draw 40,000 visitors a day upon completion.