Black Bear Casino Resort opens the doors to its $121 million renovation


Guests begin enjoying Fond du Lac Band's new casino resort experience

CARLTON, Minn. - Guests at the Black Bear Casino Resort are getting their first look at a remarkable renovation at the region's premier entertainment destination. After investing more than $121 million, the transformation at Black Bear Casino Resort is nearing completion. The new gaming floor, a new steakhouse and a new cabaret are all open to visitors. Also open is the dramatic addition to the Black Bear hotel.

The new Black Bear Casino Resort is 88,000 square feet of casino entertainment with more than 2,000 slot machines, 16 blackjack tables, four poker tables and a 600-seat bingo hall. There's also high-stakes bingo, high-limit slot and table areas, and pull-tabs. Casino games are just part of the Bear experience. Dining choices include fine cuisine at the new, upscale Seven Fires Steakhouse, the Buffet at the Bear and the Sage Deli. Entertainment is hosted Wednesday through Sunday at the new Cobalt Cabaret and Lounge.

''The buzz about the Bear has been incredible; and when people first step onto our new gaming floor, they're really struck by how different the place is from all of its competitors,'' said Rocky Wilkinson, marketing manager. ''It's not at all what you'd expect in northern Minnesota.''

The new Bear also includes a 12-story, 250-room hotel designed to be sleek, modern and comfortable, a four-level parking ramp, two retail shops, a tanning salon, a business center, the Aurora Arcade and a championship golf course.

''We've worked incredibly hard to bring a gaming experience to the Upper Midwest that is absolutely unique,'' said Catherine Colsrud, Black Bear Casino Resort general manager. ''We're going to continue to raise the bar on what our guests can expect.''

Black Bear Casino Resort is continuing to improve. The Otter Creek Event Center will open in early fall with 17,650 square feet of meeting space. Otter Creek will be able to host functions of almost any size from 10 people to 1,800 and will include an on-site catering team with an expanded banquet menu. Black Bear is also currently remodeling the pre-existing hotel. The remodel should be done mid-August and the rooms will be modernized with new carpet, furniture, Simmons Beautyrest beds and many other upgrades.

''The Fond du Luc Band is extremely proud of the facility and amenities,'' said Chairman Karen Diver. ''All of the renovations will set Black Bear Casino Resort apart from the competition and emerge as a leader in the Midwest gaming market.''

Black Bear Casino Resort is owned and operated by the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and is located 20 minutes south of Duluth. For more information, call (888) 771-0777 or visit