Construction for hotel at Twin River in Lincoln slated for spring

Newport Grand may be torn down once a casino in Tiverton is constructed

LINCOLN, R.I. (WPRI) – With one major construction project on the horizon for the operators of Twin River Casino, another one is now scheduled to begin: a new hotel at the Lincoln facility.

John Taylor, chairman of the board at Twin River, said construction should begin this spring on an approximately 140-room hotel that will be built at the north entrance of Twin River.

“It will be an amenity hotel – it will not be a tower,” Taylor said during a taping of WPRI 12’s Newsmakers. “It will be very consistent with the existing height of the facility we have.”

Taylor said company officials have already begun some preliminary work to prepare the site for a groundbreaking in several months, with hopes that the hotel will be open in the spring of 2018.

“When we added table games our table games players said, ‘We’d like to stay, we’d like the option to be able to stay overnight,'” Taylor said. “It’s not going to change the complexion of who we are – we are a convenience casino operator.”

Twin River will build and operate the facility itself.

The construction project will likely coincide with the building of a new casino in Tiverton after voters statewide and locally approved a ballot referendum earlier this month. The project still needs approval from local zoning officials.

If all goes as planned, Taylor said the Tiverton casino would open in July 2018 at a cost of $75 million. The company would then move out of Newport Grand, which it purchased last year, leaving the building there vacant.

“We’ve committed to tearing the building down if we don’t have a buyer for it,” Taylor said. “We’re also engaged in early stages in a conversation with the city with what they want to do with the land at the base of the Newport Bridge.”

He said Newport officials have expressed interest in cleaning up the complicated system of roads there, including what Taylor called “an off-ramp to nowhere,” and the city may be interested in the 23-acre parcel to make that happen.

“As you might imagine our phone started to ring the day after the vote was counted,” Taylor said. “We are going to be very busy from a project management perspective.”

Tim White ( ) is the Target 12 investigative reporter and host of Newsmakers for WPRI 12 and Fox Providence. Follow him on Twitter and on Facebook