on Thursday, November 5, 2015
In our second look at the Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo, we wanted to look a little deeper at some of the big numbers. We looked at the restaurants, the gaming, and the hotel previously, but there are impacts bigger than what we previously presented.
One of the stats that jumped out is the number of lightbulbs. I was shocked when Chris told us that there are 20,000 light bulbs in fixtures and lamps at the Isle. When you add the number of bulbs in the slot machines, the number is significantly greater. Chris and I had discussed that number previously, and as we talked about the facts and figures, and the big numbers, that was one we felt was impressive. It also puts into perspective the size of the facility when you compare that number to what you use in your own home or business.
Kyle talked about the total number of employees, and the busiest night of the year, which is New Year’s Eve. What you didn’t hear in the episode was that during an average shift, there are 125-150 employees on the clock. You also don’t get to see most of those staff members, either, with as many as two-thirds of the employees working in roles that aren’t front of the house jobs.
The Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo has been open since 2007, and there are many employees who are there today that you would have seen on opening day 8 years ago. Kyle told us that they recently celebrated several employees who had been with the company 30 years. That means that as you visit, you will see your favorite dealer or food service employee each time.
We talked quite a bit about the Isle’s involvement with the community. Employees are encouraged to be involved, and donation requests are reviewed by the Isle’s committee regularly. Every week, hundreds of pounds of food are donated to the Northeast Iowa Food Bank, House of Hope, and other organizations.
And, as long as we’re talking big numbers, since its inception, the Black Hawk County Gaming Association (the non-profit license-holder for the casino) has awarded $32.8 million to local non-profits and government entities. More than 350 projects in 49 different communities have been funded, ranging from public safety to arts and culture to recreation and sports.
Finally…the Presidential Suite. Wow! The suite is on the top floor of the 195-room hotel, and is absolutely incredible. We pointed out in the episode that it is bigger than some apartments and houses, and it is as home-like a hotel room as I’ve ever been in. If you want to treat yourself and indulge, this would be a perfect place to do that.
The Isle Casino Hotel Waterloo is a place for fun and games, but we learned throughout our conversations with staff that they also take their involvement and place in the Waterloo community very seriously. Most of the 600 employees live in Waterloo. Many, like Chris and Kyle, were born here. They’re a BIG part of the community, no matter how you measure it.
Follow the hashtag #IDigWaterloo for photos, videos, and travel inspiration.
- Aaron Buzza, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau