A look inside the expanded Southland Casino & Hotel
The casino portion of the nearly $300 million expansion is set to open in April
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. (WMC) - After years of planning, Southland Casino & Hotel will welcome its first guests to an expanded 113,000 sq. ft. casino.
The ambience is to mirror a Las Vegas-style casino, and it certainly lives up to the hype.
“We have the latest technology here, so it’s going to be a game changer,” said Southland GM David Wolf.
In total, 2,400 slots and 60 live table games will fill this space, along with 6 new restaurants, 4 bars and a VIP lounge.
While Southland has been made famous for its greyhound racing over the last 60 years, it’s been reported that the racing portion of the casino will be phased out in December of this year.
Outside the gaming complex will be a new 1,250 space parking garage - connected to a 300 room hotel, which will include 84 suites.
According to Wolf, the hotel will be the tallest building in Arkansas, outside of Little Rock.
“It’s been in the works for a long time here, so this is a new era,” Wolfe said. “This is great for the state of Arkansas, great for West Memphis.”
We’re told the addition to the casino and hotel will add 400, potentially 500, new jobs, making Southland the largest employer in Crittenden County.
“That’ll bring our workforce close to about 1,400-1,500,” Wolf said.
Southland has already started hiring for those positions, and they’re looking for professions throughout the casino and food service business: chefs, hosts, baristas, servers, managers, bartenders, dealers, slot techs, and security to name a few.
There will be weekly hiring events every Wednesday through March 9 at Southland’s Kennel Club located on the 2nd floor mezzanine.
Southland’s operating company Delaware North asks that applicants apply on their careers site before arriving at the hiring events.
Benefits for Southland positions include:
- $15/hr base pay for non-tip positions ; $10/hr for tip-based positions
- Health, dental, and vision insurance
- 401(k) with company match
- Vacation and holidays
- Company-paid chef training and certification
- Complimentary parking
- Free meals during shift
“There’s definitely going to be an impact for our city,” said West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon. “Southland has always been great for the city of West Memphis, and with this new expansion it only shows how much more they’re going to be.”
Mayor McClendon said he sees the potential for new businesses locating in the city to surround the expanded Southland and also a larger tax base that will be put toward city infrastructure and public services.
“The city needs a lot of that,” McClendon said. “We’re definitely going to take those dollars and make sure that we’re protecting the city as well as building the city up.”
For Wolf, he said this massive expansion project is one of the highlights of 40-year career in gaming.
“To be involved in this from the beginning and to the end and to help not only the benefits that will help employees but helping the community, it’s very satisfying,” the GM said.
The casino opens in April, though a hard date has not been finalized yet, and the hotel will open later this year.
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