(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Academy of Country Music has nominated Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino for its prestigious “Casino of the Year” award for the third year in a row.
Turning Stone is joined in the 2005 class of ACM nominees, announced Thursday, by several entertainers who have played or are scheduled to perform in the resort’s Showroom and 5,000-seat Event Center. In fact, each of the five artists nominated for Entertainer of the Year, ACM’s top honor, have performed or will perform at Turning Stone: Tim McGraw, who played the inaugural concert in the Event Center in December; Brooks & Dunn, who appeared in the Event Center in February; Kenny Chesney, who played in the Showroom in 2000; Toby Keith, who also appeared in the Showroom in 2000; and Keith Urban, who, it was announced Thursday, will perform in the Event Center June 3.
Chesney, Keith, McGraw and Urban also are contenders for Top Male Vocalist honors, and Brooks & Dunn is up for Top Vocal Duo, along with previous Showroom performers Montgomery Gentry and The Warren Brothers.
“I’m shocked,” Turning Stone Entertainment Director Sam Madonia said after the nominations were announced. “I really didn’t think we’d be nominated three years in a row. It’s the property and the staff that earned us the nomination.
“The artists are just amazed when they come here at the quality of the amenities and the way they’re treated,” Madonia said. “It’s not just the Entertainment Department. It’s the hotel staff, the Food & Beverage staff, the golf staff, the gaming staff, the housekeeping staff. Performers love to come here because they know they’re going to be treated well and they’re going to get to play in a world-class facility.”
Other nominees for Casino of the Year are Belterra in Belterra, Ind.; Casino Rama in Orilla, Ontario; Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas; and Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Conn.
Sara Evans, who played with Brad Paisley in the Event Center in January, is up for Top Female Vocalist, as are perennial Showroom favorite Terri Clark and Lee Ann Womack, who returns to the Showroom on April 23.
The Top Vocal Group category includes Showroom regulars Diamond Rio, Lonestar and Rascal Flatts. Newcomer Julie Roberts, who plays the Showroom in September, is up for the Top New Artist award.
All five contenders for Song of the Year also have appeared at Turning Stone: Toby Keith (“American Soldier”); Rascal Flatts (“Bless the Broken Road”); Lee Ann Womack (“I May Hate Myself in the Morning”); Tim McGraw (“Live Like You Were Dying”); and Brad Paisley (“Whiskey Lullaby”). Keith Urban was nominated for Single of the Year for “Days Go By” and for Album of the Year for “Be Here.” McGraw, Evans and Chesney also received nominations for Album of the Year.
The ACM Awards show will be broadcast live on CBS on Tuesday, May 17. –by CelebrityAccess Staff Writers