Last updated: February 19. 2013 8:24PM - 623 Views

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PLAINS TOWNSHIP – Construction on what will soon be the largest hotel in Luzerne County is humming along as steel beams have risen from what was once a parking lot on the grounds of the Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs casino and racetrack.

The planned $50 million, 238-room hotel/events center is slated to be completed by the end of next year. Casino General Manager Mike Bean said weather has cooperated and work is on schedule.

There haven't been any unexpected issues, Bean said on Monday.

He estimated about 20 percent of the overall project has been done, mostly earth moving and the beginning work on the structure. Bean said the steel beams will serve as the frame for the first floor of the hotel and conference center.

Bean said that frame will be wrapped and insulated and though it will be cold outside, work will continue inside and outside during the winter. The next phase will include building up seven stories and out toward the casino so the two structures will be connected.

In addition to the hotel rooms, the facility will include a 20,000-square-foot events center with a banquet room that can handle up to 600 for events and 1,500 for concerts. The hotel also will have a fitness center, indoor pool, ground-floor bistro and meeting rooms.

The Mohegan organization has secured funding for the project and will operate it with its own staff. It has been designed by JCJ Architecture, headquartered in Hartford, Conn., the designer of the casino space that opened in 2008. Construction is being led by Killian Construction of Springfield, Mo., though most of the work is being subcontracted to local companies.

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