Twin River seeks to open Tiverton casino by Oct. 2018

TIVERTON, R.I. (WPRI) — Construction crews are working against the clock to get as much work done on the new Twin River Casino as possible before winter hits.

Eyewitness News on Wednesday took a hard-hat tour of the construction site, where 51 acres of rocky ledges and wooded wetlands will eventually become a new hotel and casino on the Tiverton-Fall River line.

Officials say the target opening date is October 1, 2018. 

Twin River Chairman John Taylor said they originally hoped to open by summer 2018, but the project was delayed due to challenges presented by the land, limits on construction hours and the delayed start of the town planning process.

“In order to make our October date, we are pushing to get the buildings enclosed and winterized by the middle to end of December,” Taylor explained.

Taylor said they’ve nearly doubled their budget for the so-called “convenience casino” from $75 million to about $140 million.

“The cost of this is borne entirely by Twin River Management Group,” he added. “We received no state subsidies and no taxpayer dollars are being used.”

Taylor said they’ve also increased the size of the casino to 95,000 square feet, with 32 table games, 1,000 slots, restaurants and an 84-room attached hotel.

But, it will still only be just a quarter of the size of Twin River in Lincoln.

“Twin River is the seventh largest casino in America right now, and this will not be,” Taylor said.

Taylor said they have about 160 workers at Newport Grand, but those employees will be moved to Tiverton and the rest of the 500-600 jobs at the casino will be offered first to local residents. He hopes to hold the first town job fair before the end of the year.