Cascades Casino in North Bay held a "soft open" on March 9, and a grand opening is planned for later this spring.
The $31-million facility has faced lengthy delays due to COVID, but has now opened the doors to the gaming floor and MATCH restaurant.
"I feel the reception is going to be amazing," said James Sweeney, the casino's general manager of food and beverage.
"There's a lot of buzz in the community. Everywhere I go people are asking me about it. The atmosphere from staff is electric. Staff are ecstatic about the menu and the venue. We're very excited."
The 39,000-square-foot-building is located on a seven-acre parcel of land bordered by Pinewood Park Drive, Highway 11 and the PetroCanada station in the city's south end.
There are 300 slot machines, six live table games of roulette, blackjack and 10 electronic table games. More than 200 people have been hired to staff the facility, which is operated by Gateway Casinos.
The Burnaby, B.C.-headquartered company also operates casinos in Sault Ste. Marie, Sudbury, and Thunder Bay.
Training has been going on for the past three weeks, and menu tastings and dry runs have been given to invited guests and staff.
"I think when people walk through the doors they'll understand that it's all about entertainment; there's lots to do here."
North Bay Transit will provide a stop outside the casino for employees and customers.
Sweeney said the restaurant patio will open soon.
"Obviously, it's North Bay and we're dependent on weather, but we hope by the end of May it will be warm enough to use."
Gas fireplaces will help heat the patio, along with overhead gas heaters. Misters will operate during the summer months to cool customers in hot weather.
"I think our patio is going to be a great venue," added Sweeney. "I'm expecting to be very busy."