Background and Context
A premiere regional hospitality destination in Northeast Pennsylvania, Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs made history as Pennsylvania’s first casino in November 2006. Two years after the casino’s debut, JCJ Architecture provided renovation design services for the Pocono Downs Racetrack facility to include VLTs. The first expansion opened in 2008 and features a 2,000 machine circular casino, an extension of The Mohegan Sun brand, with a central bar featuring an elaborate “Sunburst” at its core. The casino area is surrounded by a concourse lined with a range of food services, retail shops and clubs. The live racing and simulcast facilities were completely redesigned and renovated to enhance the racing patron experience.
In 2011, JCJ began work on a significant expansion to gaming and addition of a new hotel, spa and convention center. The hotel features a 7-story, 238-room hotel and the 20,000 square foot convention center was designed to adapt to the needs of a variety of events accommodating up to 1,500 attendees for concerts or to host meetings that range from small, intimate groups to large conferences. Other amenities include a casual dining area serving breakfast and light fare for hotel guests as well as a small bar for evening socializing, a pool and fitness area, and space for a future market-driven amenity such as a spa.
The Hotel and Events Center seamlessly integrates with the existing casino by reinforcing the previously established design vocabulary and continuing the subtle and inventive celebration of the natural images, features and resources of the immediate region while also capturing the quality, look and feel of the well-established Mohegan Sun, and now Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs, brands. The exterior design builds on the sculptural appearance of the existing casino including a stone base with horizontal, black quartzite banding referring to stratified layers of coal – the natural resource most important to the history and development of the area. The interior design continues the journey begun in the casino and draws inspiration directly from the landscape, the flora, the wildlife, the natural resources and the personality of the Pocono Mountain-Susquehanna River Valley area.