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Oneida Nation announces $25 million entertainment facility, 300+ jobs

By Hilary Lane

VERONA, N.Y. (WKTV) - Officials with the Oneida Indian Nation say more than 300 jobs will come to the area as the Nation expands at Turning Stone with a $25 million entertainment facility.

Called "Exit 33," the facility will house four distinct entertainment options including a country music dance hall, a rock and roll club, an ultra lounge, and a piano bar. Turning Stone plans to announce the names of each venue in the near future.

Construction on Exit 33 starts immediately with a planned July 2013 opening to coincide with Turning Stone's 20th anniversary.

At a groundbreaking ceremony on Thursday morning, Nation CEO Ray Halbritter said, "I'm pleased to join our longstanding friends in organized labor in announcing this $25 million expansion at our Turning Stone Resort. The addition of a new state-of-the-art entertainment venue will create 300 new jobs for our region and promises to be unlike anything else in all of New York."

The Oneida Nation expects Exit 33 to create more than 100 permanent jobs and provide more than 200 jobs to local construction workers, building trades craftsmen, and suppliers during the building phase.

Pat Costello, Area Representative of the Central and Northern New York Building Trades said, "The Oneida Nation has long been an economic engine in this region. For many years it has demonstrated a commitment to using local union labor on its construction projects. Indeed, the vast majority of new construction jobs created by the expansion will be performed by workers who live within 50 miles of the site."

New York State Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi added, "This project is yet another example of the Oneida Indian Nation's spirit of cooperation. I commend the Nation for executing a Project Labor Agreement with our local building and trades organizations, and for continuing to provide good-paying jobs for residents of the Mohawk Valley region."

Turning Stone has enlisted the services of the Hayner Hoyt Corporation of Syracuse for general contracting and construction management on the project and Ramsgard Architectural Design of Skaneateles for design work. Other local vendors will also be called upon for a range of construction materials as well as to provide goods and services during the operation of Exit 33.

Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente, Jr. said, "This latest venture adds to the incredible home-grown success story that the Oneida Indian Nation has developed at its Turning Stone Resort. The efforts of the Oneida Indian Nation have helped to transform Oneida County into a major tourist destination, which not only helps the Nation and its members, but all the people and businesses of Oneida County who gain from the growth of tourism. I commend the Nation and its leadership for the vision that has guided its growth, and I look forward to the success of Exit 33, another great venue that puts Oneida County on the map."

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