ACM Names 'Turning Stone' Casino Of The Year Nominee – One Of Only Five Nominated

ONEIDA NATION HOMELANDS (CelebrityAccess News Service) – For the second consecutive year, the Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino has been nominated as Casino of the Year by the Academy of Country Music.

Winners will be announced Wednesday, May 26, in a live broadcast on CBS.

Turning Stone Director of Entertainment Sam Madonia said the repeat ACM nomination is a testament to the complete package the resort offers for performers.

“To be in the top five is a great honor, but it’s not just the Entertainment Department, it’s the whole property that earned this nomination,” Madonia said. “Entertainers want to come here because it’s like a mini-vacation for them. They get to perform for their fans, but they also get to enjoy the restaurants, the spa, the golf, the gaming, all the amenities Turning Stone has to offer. The ACM nomination truly is an honor to the work of the entire Turning Stone team.”

Last year, Turning Stone was one of 19 nominees for the ACM award, and one of only three in the Northeast. This year, only five casinos in the country received the nomination: Turning Stone; Ameristar Casino in Kansas City, Mo.; Boulder Station Casino in Las Vegas; Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino in Uncasville, Conn.; and Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort in Mt. Pleasant, Mich.

Darin Murphy, an agent with Creative Artists Agency, which books many of the country acts in the Showroom, said his artists enjoy the total experience of playing at Turning Stone.

“All the artists who go there enjoy the amenities, and they enjoy playing the room,” Murphy said. “Everybody’s looking forward to the opening of the events center, too. They’re anxious to get into that venue because they enjoy Turning Stone so much. It’s just a great place to play.”

The 5,000-seat events center is part of Turning Stone’s $308 million expansion and is scheduled to open later this year.

To be eligible for the award, casinos must have “bought or promoted at least twenty (20) country concerts/dates during the calendar year of the award, be in good standing with all agents and help promote country ticket sales,” according to the ACM awards web page.

In its five-year history, the Showroom has become a favorite venue for a wide range of performers and has been especially successful in attracting country artists. In 2003, the Showroom hosted sold-out performances by Rascal Flatts, Brad Paisley, Gary Allen, Lorrie Morgan, Chris Cagle, George Jones, Billy Ray Cyrus, Trace Adkins, Merle Haggard, Trick Pony, Diamond Rio, and Collin Raye. Numerous other country artists, including Jo Dee Messina, Terri Clark, Chely Wright, Carolyn Dawn Johnson, Loretta Lynn, Travis Tritt, Aaron Tippin, and Billy Gilman, also have performed in the Showroom.

The Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino is a superlative four-season destination resort conveniently located in upstate New York. The resort offers guests a variety of choices including gaming, bingo, golf, entertainment and fine dining. With seven restaurants, the resort provides the perfect ambience for intimate dining or convivial gatherings. For a larger event, the conference center provides 30,000 square feet of meeting space and banquet facilities. Outdoor lovers will appreciate the Villages at Turning Stone RV Park with its 175-site paved lots with hook ups.

In the next year, the resort will open a sumptuous 98-suite hotel and a 19-story tower hotel boasting nearly 300 rooms, expanded fine dining areas, a winter garden, a luxurious spa and a 5,100-seat events arena. Scheduled to open in summer 2004 is another clubhouse and a third championship golf course, designed by Tom Fazio.

The resort is owned by the Oneida Indian Nation, a member of the Iroquois Confederacy, whose primary focus is providing for the well-being of the seventh generation to come. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers

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