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Palace Casino: Leech Lake Gaming renovates facility

Adrianne Jackson of Deer River, restaurant cashier at the Palace Casino, and Brad Feldt, casino host, set up the newly remodeled and redecorated Bingo Hall for a banquet Friday afternoon. The entire casino and hotel has been renovated and furnished with expanded services. Pioneer Photo/Molly Miron

Bright new carpeting, fresh paint, modern signage, Jacuzzi suites, refurbished Bingo Hall and expanded gaming area - these are some of the amenities the Palace Casino and Hotel have added in a recent renovation project.

The Palace celebrated the remodeling this week culminating today with special games and prizes with activities.

Brad Feldt, casino host, said the 1980 building used for meetings and powwows became the Palace Casino in 1984. He said the facility was overdue for a makeover.

In addition to the new décor, the Palace has a 750-square-foot expansion, 75 new slot machines and high-stakes $1-$25 slots. The Blackjack tables, which had been tucked in a corner, are now in the center of the gaming area, a move that has proven popular, Feldt said.

"Blackjack has picked up quite a lot," he said.

Feldt said the managers asked guests for feedback on what they would like to see in improvements. Their suggestions resulted in 80 percent of the changes, he said.

"We didn't close one day," he said. "We did it all while we were operating. Little bits and pieces while we were open."

The renovations took about two months, Feldt said, but staying open during the work caused little inconveniences, such as having half the carpet down while waiting for the other to be laid.

The aisles between rows of slots machines were widened to accommodate elders who need walkers or other assists. Feldt said about 60 percent of Palace customers are 55 and older.

For the hotel, 16 new Jacuzzi suites were added, along with flat screen TVs and new furniture. The project also featured additional landscaping.

The Palace employs about 400 people.