UNCASVILLE, Conn. -- Who ever heard of a construction project being
That's exactly what happened at the Mohegan Sun casino complex
here, which debuted the first phase of its $1 billion Project
Sunburst expansion seven days ahead of schedule.
The 115,000-square-foot Casino of the Sky opened its doors for
business Sept. 25 after a ceremony featuring a traditional Mohegan
tribal blessing and a speech by tribal chairman Mark Brown.
The casino said it has the world's largest planetarium dome,
which projects changing displays of constellations, sun cycles and
An additional feature is Wombi Rock, a three-story crystal mountain
made from more than 12,000 plates of onyx and alabaster fused to
glass, that functions as a trilevel nightclub and bar. Adjacent to
Wombi Rock is an 85-foot-high indoor waterfall.
Besides these attractions, the casino also offers table games,
thousands of slot machines, a 3,000-square-foot, high-limit lounge,
gaming areas for non-smokers and keno, which will be available next
Also part of the expansion project's first phase is the Shops at
Mohegan Sun, a 130,000-square-foot, two-story retail and restaurant
promenade designed to represent the Trail of Life, the curved path
traveled according to Mohegan tradition.
The retail complex also opened along with the casino and offers
merchandise ranging from clothing, antiques and jewelry to custom
furniture and crafts from the Orient.
New stores include Brookstone, Cache, Discovery Channel, Godiva
Chocolatier, Jewelry Nirvana, Old Farmer's Almanac General Store,
Silver Nation, Sunglasses USA and Yankee Candle.
The Shops at Mohegan Sun also features 16 new restaurants, which
join the gaming complex's 20 existing dining outlets.
Jasper White's Summer Shack and Todd English's Tuscany head the
roster of dining choices that includes Michael Jordan's Steak
House, 23 Sportcafe, Rising Moon Gallery of Eateries, Ben &
Jerry's, Big Bubba's BBQ and Johnny Rockets.
Rain, owned by the Mohegan Sun, offers fine dining amid decor
that utilizes cascading water, polished metals, glass ceramic
"puddles" and shimmering fabrics.
The next part of Project Sunburst to open will be the 300-seat
Cabaret and the 10,000-seat Mohegan Sun Arena. Both are scheduled
to officially open the weekend of Nov. 9.
At Cabaret, Tony Bennett is slated to perform Nov. 9 to 11.
The arena, meanwhile, will welcome Tim McGraw on Nov. 9 and
Gloria Estefan on Nov. 11.
The final piece of Project Sunburst -- which, when finished,
will triple the size of the existing property -- is a 1,200-room,
34-story luxury hotel that is scheduled to open in April.
Standard guest rooms will offer at least 450 square feet of
space and feature king or queen beds, lounge chairs, marble
bathrooms and T-1 Internet connections.
The property's 180 suites will range in size from 900 square
feet to 3,000 square feet.
Five of those suites will feature living rooms, dining/meeting
rooms, back service pantries/kitchens, full-service bars and master
bedrooms with deluxe bathrooms.
The hotel will have a 22,300-square-foot spa, salon and fitness
center; a 27,500-square-foot solarium with a heated indoor/outdoor
swimming pool and outdoor sun terrace, and more than 100,000 square
feet of meeting and function space.
Included in that area will be a 40,000-square-foot ballroom,
billed as the largest in the Northeast, as well as 30 conference or
breakout rooms and 14,000 square feet of pre-function space.
The Mohegan Sun will not begin taking hotel reservations until
at least January, according to a Mohegan Sun reservationist.
For more information about Mohegan Sun, call (888) 226-7711 or
visit the resort's Web site at www.mohegansun.com.