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Turning Stone breaks ground on $25 million club expansion

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Turning Stone breaks ground on $25 million club expansion
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The Turning Stone Resort and Casino has grown and changed a lot over the last two decades. Now it's expanding again with a $25 million music and entertainment facility. Our Andrew Sorensen tells us about the jobs and the jams they hope come out of the project they're calling Exit 33.

VERNON, N.Y. -- When you take exit 33 off the Thruway in the next few months, you might notice Turning Stone building what they call 'entertainment at every turn.'

"We're going to be calling it 'Exit 33,'" said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter. "It's going to be an entertainment venue that's unlike anything in the state of New York currently."

They officially broke ground for the $25 million project Thursday.

Architect Andy Ramsgard designed each of the three venues after the music you'll hear in them. There's the country western joint, shaped like a barn, and the piano bar for those who like a classier tune.

It will feature, "All kinds of crooners from the 40s, the 50s, the 60s and even today's," Ramsgard explained.

And then there's the one Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter is looking forward to.

"I sort of like classic rock 'n' roll," he admitted.

"The inside of the gig is really going to have that kind of cavern that the Beatles played in," Ramsgard said.

When they're done, each club is supposed to be slightly smaller than the current club Lava, but all three are going to cram into the size of one small parking lot.

"The rock 'n' roll will be about 400 people capacity, the country western will be about 500 and the piano bar will be about 150," Ramsgard said.

Music lovers aside, a lot of other people are taking interest in the project.

Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente said, "It puts people back to work, it puts people to work and that's what we're interested in."

Turning Stone estimates it will create 300 jobs, 100 of which should be permanent.

They expect to open in July, and the timing couldn't be better.

"This exciting entertainment venue will also coincide with our 20th anniversary next year," said Halbritter.

Turning Stone hopes this new turn will get everyone excited as they draw closer to that milestone.

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