Casino Regina Show Lounge Temporarily Closes For Renovations, Refresh

Written By Robyn McNeil on January 9, 2023
casino regina's show lounge closes temporarily for renovations

Saskatchewan’s Casino Regina Show Lounge is getting a facelift.

After the ball dropped on New Year’s Eve, the popular Regina event space temporarily closed for long-awaited renovations. The closure marks the start of the last phase of a multi-year casino renovation project.

“The Show Lounge has now gone dark, and that’s going to allow us to complete the final bit of upgrades as part of our Casino Regina renovations,” Shanna Schulhauser, director of communications at Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, told Regina Leader-Post.

No significant changes intended for the Show Lounge

This stage is more of a refresh of the Show Lounge, which opened in 2001, than an extensive renovation.

“We had planned this as part of our multi-year facility modernization plan,” added Schulhauser.

“A few weeks closed will allow us to get things upgraded, and we’ll be better than ever when we come out on the other side.”

“The Show Lounge is one of the newer parts of Casino Regina, which is why we won’t be undertaking sweeping changes to the area itself. The changes are mostly smaller aesthetic upgrades to bring the Show Lounge in line with the rest of the casino. Those upgrades will be very much visible. Things like new paint and new carpeting, (replacing) the tables, chairs — all that sort of stuff. It will be a nice upgrade, and I don’t doubt that guests will feel right at home when they walk (back) into the Show Lounge.”

Refresh marks final phase of multi-year renos

The first phase of Casino Regina’s renovation project kicked off in January 2020 after SaskGaming earmarked nearly $18 million for the effort. At the time, SG set aside another $5 million for similar upgrades to Casino Moose Jaw. That work is to begin later this spring.

In Casino Regina’s case, most of the significant renovations to the Saskatchewan casino occurred during mandated COVID-19 closures. For instance, the Show Lounge updated its box office and lobby last year. Now crews are preparing to move into the main theatre space.

The expected cost of the remaining improvements to the show lounge in fiscal 2022-23 is $5.5 million.

“We did quite a bit during the pandemic,” said Schulhauser.

“We continued the renovation throughout the pandemic in order to support the Saskatchewan construction industry, the local sub-trades and to take advantage of the unhindered access to the gaming floor.”

“Of course, nobody likes to see a pandemic, but at the same time, there was a great opportunity for us to chip away at the renovations. That allowed us to stay on time and, for the most part, on budget as well.”

Casino Regina Show Lounge rebuilding post-pandemic

Typically, the 700-seat lounge hosts 200 events yearly — booking everything from local productions and talent to fundraisers and international stars. Musicians and comedians are a particular draw.

However, business started off slow when the venue reopened in 2021 after a lengthy COVID shutdown. Like many venues, the Show Lounge had difficulty booking acts due to restrictions, particularly around travel.

But things are finally getting back to normal.

Thankfully for the casino, business recently started picking up, with new shows and those rescheduled due to pandemic closures. Such is the case with the Irish Rovers, who take the stage on March 27 when the Vegas-style theatre reopens.

The party continues that week with Charlie Major, Matt Anderson & The Big Bottle of Joy Band and The New Montagues.

Photo by Shutterstock
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Robyn McNeil

Robyn McNeil is a Nova Scotia-based writer and editor. She lives in Halifax in an empty nest with a mischievous cat and a penchant for good stories, strong tea, cheeseburgers, yoga, graveyards, hammocks, gardening, games, herb, and hoppy beer.

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