In a fanfare of bright confetti and glitter-clad women on stilts, the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino reopened its doors. After over five years of anticipation, the casino is ready for guests and players, who will have their choice of 298 machines and 14 Blackjack, roulette, and craps tables.
The casino is expected to have an economic impact of over $22 million annually, and create 150 jobs. The grand opening will take place at the end of Jan. 2022, but the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino is now open daily from 10:00 am to 2:00 am. Pandemic permitting, it will soon be open 24/7.
“As planned, we are thrilled to finally reopen our doors after five years and deliver exciting new gaming and entertainment experiences to the wonderful people of Puerto Rico and visitors from afar,” announced Stuart I.C. Levene, the Managing Director and General Manager of the Foxwoods El San Juan Casino.
Governor Pierluisi cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony alongside the Mayor of Carolina José Carlos Aponte Dalmau, Tribal Council members from the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation of Connecticut, and Jason Guyot, Foxwoods’ President and CEO.
The Mashantucket Pequot tribe owns the Foxwoods Resort and Casino, the largest resort casino in North America. It is one of the highest contributors to Connecticut’s revenue, not to mention the largest employer. Rodney Butler, Chairman of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation since Jan. 2010, expressed his excitement to extend their experience to Puerto Rico.
“Today is a landmark milestone for the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation as we expand the Foxwoods Resort Casino brand –for the first time ever – to the Caribbean. We’re honored to bring real economic value and tourism to the region, including an estimated economic impact of $22 million, with the launch of Foxwoods El San Juan Casino and remain a committed partner as we help build a bright future for the island. We thank our partners at LionGrove and Fairmont El San Juan for making this happen,” said Butler.
Designed by legendary Miami Beach architect Morris Lapidus, El San Juan Hotel has been welcoming locals and tourists alike since February 1, 1958. Throughout the 1960s, Puerto Rico became a beacon for American tourists and entertainers, and El San Juan Hotel followed as the grand dame of authentic Puerto Rican hospitality and entertainment. During the hotel’s first three decades, internationally renowned headliners performed on its stage each week, including Sammy Davis Jr., Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, Eddie Fisher, Carol Channing and Liza Minelli, among other icons of the time. Fast forward to today, and El San Juan Hotel remains a timeless Puerto Rican icon, seamlessly blending the best elements of yesterday, today, and tomorrow.
This reopening of the casino is the finishing touch to the Foxwoods El San Juan Hotel. The casino was completely renovated for its reopening, keeping to the classic European style that has defined the hotel for decades. Plush carpets line the floors, rich woodwork adorns the ceilings, and there is no lack of crystal chandeliers to enhance guests’ experience at the casino.
“This property has been emblematic for Puerto Rico and thus our intent was to maintain the rich history of the venue, and we truly believe the casino’s new identity beautifully pays homage to the casino’s legendary history. Today marks the beginning of an iconic new chapter for Puerto Rico’s gaming innovation, and we’re excited for all to experience the revitalized Foxwoods El San Juan Casino firsthand”, added Levene.
LionGrove, co-investor with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, is a hospitality investment firm with over 60 years of experience dealing with prestigious private equity. They focus on acquiring and adding value to mid-scale and luxury hotels, bringing together Wall Street professionals and world-leading hoteliers.