We were at Foxwoods Resort Casino Saturday night for their gala 25th anniversary celebration. Foxwoods was the first full service tribal casino to be built on a Native American Reservation, paving the way for over 400 casinos operated by over 200 tribes in the United States.
Beginning as a small slots parlor, Foxwoods is now a full service resort, with its own golf course, hotel, restaurants, Tangor Outlets and much more, drawing the top names in entertainment and playing host to millions of people, many from nearby Rhode Island.
The story of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the oldest continuously occupied reservation in the United States (est. 1666) and its long battle to establish itself as pioneers of the gaming industry is one of the great economic success stories in the country.
The tribe has contributed more than $4 billion to Connecticut through its revenue sharing program and is one of the state’s largest employers, including many from Rhode Island.
Hon. Richard A. “Skip” Hayward, former Meshantucket Pequot Chairman received the tribe’s first-ever Lifetime Achievement Award for his visionary leadership in rebuilding the tribe’s community and establishing Foxwoods in 1992.
Over a thousand guests filled the spacious Celebrity Ballroom to enjoy a four-course steak dinner, witness the awards ceremony, Native American dancing and a performance by 10-time Grammy Award winner Chaka Khan.
Many guests walked home with fabulous prizes from a drawing that included all-expense trips to the Super Bowl, U.S. Open, “Hamilton” on Broadway, and the Kentucky Derby.