In a report by WNDU-TV, the South Bend Four Winds will open in less than two weeks and immediately become one of the biggeThe South Bend Four Winds will open in less than two weeks and immediately become one of the biggest businesses in town.st businesses in town.
"The largest new employer our area has seen in decades, we're talking about 1,200 people working out there, when you look at really our largest employers in the community that puts them in the top probably five or six or so,” said Jeff Rea, Executive Director of the South Bend Regional Chamber.
And unlike most of St. Joseph County’s other large employers, including Notre Dame, the hospitals, South Bend city and St. Joseph County government and the South Bend Community School System—the Four Winds is owned by a private, for profit entity (the Pokagon Band of Potawatomi Indians.”
“These are good paying jobs that have health insurance with them these are stable jobs,” said South Bend Sixth District Councilman Oliver Davis.
“When a good employer comes in with good wages and good benefits it causes others to adjust and it really ultimately helps drive those wages up,” added Jeff Rea.
The South Bend Four Winds is scheduled to open its doors to the public on January 16th and is expected to have a big impact on the local economy.
The latest statistics show about 5,700 St. Joseph County residents were unemployed in November. If every casino job was filled from that pool of people, joblessness would be cut by 20 percent by the Four Winds alone.
Among the 1,200 or so people who elected to take a job at the Four Winds is at least one elected official. Roseland Town Council President Elizabeth McCombs confirms to NewsCenter 16 that she has a new day job at the Four Winds.
“People have called me, I know people in my church I know other people have said hey I just got a job at the casino,” said Councilman Davis. “There have been many jobs already with people who have been out there in construction building the project, several hundred people have been out there doing that so now you're going to literally see so many people get jobs that's what I'm excited about.”
Two percent of the net win from the Four Winds South Bend will be paid to the City of South Bend. That payout is apparently guaranteed to be a minimum of $2 million.
$1 million will go to the city's general fund while $1 million will go directly to the South Bend Redevelopment Commission.