How Foxwoods Resort Casino is Reimagining the Future of Entertainment

Rendering of Great Wolf Lodge

by Emily Langner

Construction is underway on Great Wolf Lodge in Mashantucket, Conn., the third resort in the Northeastern U.S. for Great Wolf Resorts, Inc., North America. Currently the largest economic development project in the state of Connecticut, the $300 million project is part of a partnership agreement with the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation and will be located on 13 acres adjacent to the Foxwoods Resort Casino.

The development is only one of the recent expansions at Foxwoods designed to provide entertainment for guests of all ages. It will include a 91,000sf indoor water park, a 61,000sf family entertainment center, family-friendly suites, and new meeting and conference spaces. Other recent additions to Foxwoods include the new Pequot Woodlands Casino; a Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant; and the fast-casual burger restaurant Wahlburgers, managed by the Wahlberg family.

Jason Guyot

Jason Guyot is president and CEO of Foxwoods Resort Casino, taking on the role at the start of the Covid pandemic. A member of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe, Guyot started his career with Foxwoods in 1995 while still in high school, and after graduating from college, advanced through the ranks in operations over the last two decades. Guyot says the Great Wolf Lodge project and other additions are part of the organization’s plan to continue to add non-gaming amenities to the existing offerings that include hotels, spas, zip lining, indoor cart racing, and “eatertainment” experiences.

Guyot says it has always been a long-term plan to expand and add these types of experiences. He comments, “The decisions we’re making now are really focused on the future – giving our guests more options, more opportunities, more entertainment,” adding that “we’re continuing to develop, negotiate new deals, new brands, new restaurants, new bars…it’s definitely an exciting time for us.”

Through all the new additions, the team maintains a focus on sustainability with each new project. Guyot emphasizes, “A lot of the renovation that we’ve done is transitioning current space, so we’re always looking and committed to implementing environmentally responsible practices that align with our values.” These include comprehensive LED lighting programs, prioritizing the use of existing mechanical systems and utilities, and a resort-wide recycling program. This focus is included in the partnership with Great Wolf Resorts, which prioritizes energy saving and water conservation through its Project Green Wolf initiative.

Pequot Woodlands Casino

Additionally, Guyot says the focus is on new and innovative ways to create experiences for guests, and do things that have never been done. One example is the inclusion of two large picture windows placed in the high limit slot area of the new Pequot Woodlands Casino, something not typically seen in casinos. Designed to highlight the beauty of the woodlands and the surrounding land, he says this aligns with the original vision of Foxwoods to bring the outdoors inside, and the team continues to stay true to that vision with every modernization project.

Guyot concludes that while continuing to innovate and create new and unique experiences comes with its challenges, it is made possible by Foxwoods’ work with local architecture and construction management firms such as ZDS Architecture, Zaino & Associates, and Bentley Companies, and the engagement and support of Foxwoods Resort Casino’s tribal council. He says, “This allows us to try things and progress forward – it’s been great and it’s led to all of our success.”

Emily Langner is editor at High-Profile Monthly.