- Associated Press - Saturday, February 8, 2014

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - The Blackbird Bend casino in western Iowa, formerly CasinOmaha, is set to reopen in a brand-new building on Wednesday.

Table games, a restaurant and bar and gift shop are all coming back with the move to the new building, The Omaha World-Herald reported (https://bit.ly/1ecLQPp ).

The Omaha Tribe-owned casino, located in Onawa, Iowa, south of Sioux City, was shut down by Missouri River flooding in June 2011. The tribe reopened in a portion of the old building about a year ago while the new casino was under construction.

The new casino is next door to the old building, a portion of which will reopen in March as a bingo hall, marketing director Mike Krysl said.

“It’s much like a phoenix rising out of the ashes,” Krysl told the World-Herald. “We like to think of this as a situation where a blackbird is rising out of the flood waters.”

The new building will sit 6 feet higher than the old casino to prevent future flooding, Krysl said.

About 140 people have been hired to staff the new casino, and a grand opening ceremony will be held Feb. 21.

Leaders from the Omaha Tribal Council will perform a cedar ceremony, a ritual intended to bless the new building.

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Information from: Omaha World-Herald, https://www.omaha.com


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