Seminole Brighton Bay Hotel & Casino Stages Topping Out Ceremony

New casino, hotel and entertainment complex set to open in early 2025

A ceremonial tree, a signed steel beam and flags of the United States of America,
Seminole Tribe of Florida and State of Florida are hoisted toward the future
Seminole Brighton Bay Hotel & Casino as part of a topping out ceremony on June 26, 2024 (left).
Seminole Tribe of Florida Chairman Marcellus Osceola Jr. addresses guests at the ceremony (right).
(Photos courtesy Seminole Tribe of Florida)

BRIGHTON SEMINOLE RESERVATION, Fla. (June 26, 2024) – A “Topping Out” ceremony was held today at the site of the new Seminole Brighton Bay Hotel & Casino, which is scheduled to open in early 2025.

The new resort, which will replace the existing Seminole Casino Brighton (first opened in 1980), will include a casino with a total of nearly 38,000 square feet, including space for a total of 640 slot machines and 18 tables for blackjack, craps, roulette, and other house-banked card games. Included in the totals are a smoke-free gaming space with 104 slot machines and a high-limit gaming area with 42 slot machines and four table games.

Dining options will include a 24-hour restaurant with 126 seats (EE-TO-LEE-KEE GRILL), a steak house (Josiah Steakhouse) with 62 seats and a fast-service and carry-out cafe offering a combination of items from a coffee bar (Constant Grind Bistro) and pizza kitchen (Slice). An indoor event space with 400 seats for banquet events or bingo games, or 900 seats set up as a performance hall.

In a first for any Seminole Casino, the new resort will also include a ten-lane bowling alley (Brighton Bay Bowling) of 7,044 square feet with seats for dining.

The complex will include the first hotel to be built on the Brighton Seminole Reservation. It will feature 100 guest rooms on four stories, totaling 72,000 square feet. Guest rooms will include a mix of rooms with either one king bed or two queen beds, plus three suites and a fitness center.

The resort’s new name, Seminole Brighton Bay Hotel & Casino, salutes popular sportfishing sites of nearby Lake Okeechobee, where Fisheating Bay is a little more than two miles from the new hotel and casino. Fisheating Bay and Fisheating Creek get their name from the Seminole name recorded on a military map of 1839, Thlothlopopka-Hatchee, translated as “the river where fish are eaten.”

In a symbolic ceremony, construction team members hoisted the final steel beam and secured it to the top of the structure, marking a significant milestone for the project. A joint venture of contractors Suffolk and WilMen is managing the project. Suffolk is a national, innovative contractor with a large footprint in Florida and a wealth of experience managing sophisticated gaming and resort projects in the state and throughout the country. The long-standing custom, attributed to the ancient Scandinavian ritual of placing a tree on the top of a newly completed building, celebrates the construction efforts and crews that are involved with the project.

The beam itself was transported to the Seminole Casino Brighton for current team members to have the chance to sign it to share in the celebration. The onsite construction teams also had the opportunity to leave their signatures on the beam, as a proud representation of their individual efforts on the project.

“Today is an exceptional day,” stated Jim Allen, CEO of Seminole Gaming and Chairman of Hard Rock International. “A vision has truly become a reality as we placed the final beam atop this new property. I thank everyone involved in this project, from the designers and engineers to the day-to-day laborers that are showing the world what the Seminole Tribe is truly about – unconquered vision, unparalleled service and unlimited future.”

“Today’s ceremony marks a special moment for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and the Brighton Seminole Reservation,” said Marty Johns, General Manager. “We can’t wait to open our doors. The new casino and hotel complex is expected to increase the number of tourists to the region, which is very important.”