Wetumpka businesses weigh costs, benefits of new Indian casino - WDAM - TV 7 - News, Weather and Sports

Wetumpka businesses weigh costs, benefits of new Indian casino

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WETUMPKA, AL (WSFA) -

In three months, Solar Nails & Spa in Wetumpka has seen a 10% increase in business. The driving force behind the hike is the new gaming hall at Wind Creek and the restaurants inside the new casino. Solar is located on Highway 231 North across from Wind Creek.

"We've seen a lot of customers. They'll gamble first and then come over," said Ken Nguyen, owner of Solar Nails & Spa. "Casino employees come over, too."

A 10% jump, a 50% increase at Harrison's Jewelry and Pawn Shop which is literally next door to Wind Creek. Joey Johns felt there would be an impact, but not this much.

"A little bit yes, a little bit no," Johns said. "We knew we'd see something."

A banner stretching across the parking garage at Wind Creek encourages patrons to 'find your winning moment,' a moment that has yet to come for others.

For example, one well-known restaurant in Wetumpka has seen a 10% decrease since mid-December. The management of that diner declined to go on camera.

That surprises Johns because he not only works at the pawn shop, but is also a bartender at Wind Creek. He sees the traffic.

"That's disconcerting," Johns said. "I hope that gets better because they're located on the main highway."

WSFA 12 News did not get a chance to interview anyone from Wind Creek, because security told us the company spokesman was out of town until next week.

The Poarch Creek Indians spent $246 million on their expansion, which includes the 20 story hotel on the property.

At Solar Nails and Spa, Ken Nguyen expects to see more business and Joey Johns anticipates selling more coins and jewelry, enjoying a winning hand from their big neighbor.

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