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The Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel features a 26-story luxury hotel (the largest in New York State outside of Manhattan), nine restaurants, buffets, and cafes, 4200 modern slot machines, over 100 gaming tables, more than 30,000 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and conference space, and a high-capacity events center. The resort has quickly become an Eastern Great Lakes, Western New York destination icon.
Seneca Niagara had its genesis as the former Niagara Falls Convention and Civic Center. Immediately upon entering into a 14-year gaming compact with the State of New York, the Seneca Nation of Indians embarked on $80 million in modifications to the existing structure to bring the new casino up and online. Soon after, plans were announced to expand the casino and build a 605-room luxury hotel on the site. In preparation for the expansion a new powerhouse was built on property adjacent to the casino also owned by the Seneca’s.
Under a $1.2 million contract from The Seneca Management Company, O’Connell Electric performed electrical construction and commissioning services for the new powerhouse. We installed the fire safety systems for the new hotel and casino under a separate contract.
O’Connell trenched and laid nearly 700 feet of cable between the powerhouse bus system and the existing utility circuits after casting a manhole around the conduit. Circuit shutdowns were orchestrated after midnight, when casino activity subsided, allowing for our technicians to perform the powerhouse tie-ins. We switched full casino operations over to one of two feeders that came into the property so that work could be performed on the other. Both circuits had to be back on line by 5:00 am each morning to handle the demand load as it began ramping back up. This process required several evenings to complete all aspects of work.
Back at the powerhouse O’Connell technicians made all necessary connections for the switch gear, automatic monitoring system, conduit, and power for three tractor trailor-sized 2MW generators that would be utilized for emergency backup and supplemental power. The generators are capable of running full casino and hotel operations off-grid when necessary. Per agreements with National Grid the generators were programmed to come online during peak casino operation to minimize impact on the grid. Upon conclusion of the construction process our Technical Services Division commissioned the interfacing switchgear with the utility.
O’Connell completed all work ahead of schedule, even with an accelerated project time line of six months from start to finish.