Exclusive: Oneida Nation Leader talks casino competition

Ray Halbritter hopes renovated Turning Stone becomes "a whole new property"

VERONA (WSYR-TV) - The Turning Stone Resort and Casino is upping its game in time for the new Del Lago Casino to open on Feb. 1.

In an exclusive interview with NewsChannel 9, Oneida Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter says, "We've always had competition. We always knew that would be competition. We had actually already had competition. It's just the way it is. It's the way business is. You just got to do better."

Better for Halbritter means $20 million in upgrades to Turning Stone at the same time the Del Lago Casino finishes construction down the Thruway in Waterloo.

On Thursday, Turning Stone hosted a ribbon cutting for its new "Food Hall," replacing the old food court.

There are six restaurant counters, each with its own theme and menu.

  • BunHeaven
  • Wicked Good Pizza
  • The Funky Chicken
  • Sam's Delicatessen
  • Bad Burro Taco Shop
  • Hong Kong Kitchen

In addition to the Food Hall, the gaming floor is getting a complete makeover in phases. Sections will close for brief periods of time.

Halbritter says, "We've been open for almost 24 years now. Every property really needs to refresh itself and it was time for us to do the same thing. We're always continually trying to improve the products that we provide for our guests."

Millions will also be invested to remodel hotel rooms at the Turning Stone Tower.

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