Santee Ohiya Casino cuts ribbon to celebrate grand opening - KTIV News 4 Sioux City IA: News, Weather and Sports

Santee Ohiya Casino cuts ribbon to celebrate grand opening

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Santee Ohiya Casino has three dining venues available throughout its facility. Santee Ohiya Casino has three dining venues available throughout its facility.

It's been open for a couple of weeks now, but Friday marked a big moment for the Santee Ohiya Casino.

The group in Niobrara, Nebraska, cut the ribbon and held a big celebration to commemorate the occasion.

The new 61,000 square foot casino is open 24 hours a day and has more games and choices available for its customers.

Employees are excited to be working at the state of the art facility, which officials say is only going to get better.

"They say it's really something that you've never seen before in this area. It's like something you'd find in a big city," said Wesley Saul, a security officer for the Santee Ohiya Casino.

Officials broke ground on this casino in late 2011. When the Santee Sioux Nation first opened a casino in 1996, they had seven employees and about 40 games. Now, they're approaching 90 employees, with more than 400 games.

Santee Ohiya has several dining options now.  Three spots, including a restaurant, cafe and lounge, are open for most of the day. The restaurant offers a buffet, complete with broasted chicken, pasta, soups and salads. 

About 30 people work at the restaurant alone, which is almost as many employees as worked at the old casino total. Officials say it's all helping them take a step up in customer service.

"We're a little more formal. It's a very exquisite kitchen, compared to (before). They started out making it out of a box factory, and now we're making it at the professional level," said Robin Knakmuhs, food and beverage manager for the Santee Ohiya Casino.

All dining operations at the casino are closed from 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., but officials say if you're really hungry late night, they'll find a way to get you some food.

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