Fort Hall Casino expansion project in limbo after contractor terminated

An artist illustration of what the Fort Hall Casino expansion project will look like once completed. Submitted rendering

An artist illustration of what the Fort Hall Casino expansion project will look like once completed.
Submitted rendering

By Shelbie Harris, sharris@journalnet.com

FORT HALL — It’s anyone’s guess as to when the much-heralded expansion of the Shoshone-Bannock Tribes’ casino will finish.

The Shoshone-Bannock Tribes on Tuesday terminated its contract with the Idaho Falls-based company tasked with constructing the expansion, Ormond Builders Inc. A letter from the Tribes that was sent to Ormond Builders last month alleges the company failed to correct several breaches of the contract in a timely fashion.

The original letter was sent on March 9 and an additional letter was sent on March 28 stating Ormond Builders had 21 days from March 9 “to cure several breaches of the contract.”

The Tribes announced the terminated contract on Wednesday. Within the next 30 days, the Tribes will work with appropriate parties to retain another general contractor to finish the expansion.

The Fort Hall Business Council approved the $35 million expansion at the Shoshone-Bannock Hotel and Event Center in October 2016. The project, dubbed Casino Expansion Phase II, includes a 72,984-square-foot casino that will be directly attached to the existing event center.

Slated for a 16-month construction period, the expansion was expected to be completed this month.

Randy’l Teton, spokesperson for the Tribes, told the Journal on Thursday that no other information will be released regarding the terminated contract and there is no timeline for the completion of the project.

Fort Hall Business Council Chairman Nathan Small states, “We value the work of our subcontractors and suppliers and look forward to continuing a positive working relationship to complete our casino project.”