Wind Creek Bethlehem (formerly Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem) is a casino hotel located in the Bethlehem Works development site in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in the Lehigh Valley region of eastern Pennsylvania, in the United States. It is owned and operated by Wind Creek Hospitality, an entity of the Poarch Band of Creek Indians.
The property is one of five stand-alone casinos that was awarded a slots license by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board on December 20, 2006. It was developed by the Las Vegas Sands corporation. The casino was slated to open in July 2008, but demolition took longer than expected due to the heavy concrete foundations of the old steel building. Its opening was delayed until the second quarter of 2009. The first concrete for the complex, which is located on the former Bethlehem Steel land on the south side of the city, was poured on November 15, 2007.
Sands Bethlehem opened on May 22, 2009. While the Las Vegas Sands owned several properties, this was the only casino in the United States to carry the Sands brand in its name, since the original Sands Hotel in Las Vegas was demolished and replaced with The Venetian, and the Sands Atlantic City was closed and demolished.
In the winter of 2009–2010, the casino was granted a license for table games which allowed the casino to expand to include 180 table games, including poker, blackjack and craps. Table games began operation on July 18, 2010. The Sands Hotel opened on May 27, 2011.
Sands Bethlehem was the only property in the company to end 2014 with a profit, doing better than Sands’ Vegas and Asia properties.
In November, 2016 Sands Bethlehem announced a planned expansion of the gaming floor to also include two additional restaurants.
In March 2018, it was announced that the Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem would be sold to Wind Creek Hospitality for $1.3 billion. Wind Creek Hospitality had plans for a $190-million expansion to the property that would add a 300-room hotel and possibly an indoor water park. The sale was completed in May 2019, and the property was renamed as Wind Creek Bethlehem in July 2019.
The casino features over 3,000 slot machines, 200 table games, and several electronic table games.
Sands spent $26 million in 2009 to add 119 table games: 41 blackjack tables, four craps, four roulette, four three-card poker, fourteen mini-baccarat, four midi-baccarat, three pai gow poker, two pai gow tiles, one Big Six, two Let It Ride, two Caribbean stud, four Texas Hold’em Bonus, one Casino War, one sic bo and 12 poker tables. Later a 30-table poker room was built off of the main floor. Table games began operation on July 18, 2010.
- Buddy V’s
- Burgers and More by Emeril (BAM)
- Carlo’s Bake Shop (also known as Carlo’s Bakery)
- Emeril’s Chop House
- Emeril’s Fish House
- Steelworks Buffet & Grill
- The Market Gourmet Express Food Court, currently including:
- Casa Java
- Far East
- Mo Burger
- South Philly Steaks & Fries
- Villa Italian Kitchen
- Coil Lounge
- Vision Bar
The Outlets at Wind Creek Bethlehem is an indoor shopping mall that connects the casino and the hotel. The outlet center, which opened on November 1, 2011 and is located under the Minsi Trail Bridge, comprises 133,000 sq ft (12,400 m2) of retail space and includes a food court, near the casino entrance.
Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival
The hotel hosts the yearly Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival, held at the end of May/early June to benefit the culinary and hospitality program at Northampton Community College.
Wind Creek Event Center
The Wind Creek Event Center was designed by Howard Kulp Architects of Salisbury Township. The event center features 14,000 sq ft (1,300 m2) of flexible multipurpose space, which accommodates meetings, conventions, and a variety of entertainment events. The venue can house 3,800 in a general admission setting and 2,500 in a reserved seating setting. Operated by Live Nation Mid-Atlantic, it was opened on May 16, 2012 as the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, with a concert by Incubus.Janet Jackson performed to a sold-out crowd at the venue in November 2017 for her State of the World Tour.Britney Spears performed at the venue in July 2018 on her Piece of Me tour.
Vision Bar, located next to the Sands Bethlehem Event Center, is a popular nightclub.
- “PA Gaming Control Board Approval” (PDF). PA Gaming Control Board. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- “PA Gaming Control Board Renews Slots License For Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem – Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board”. gamingcontrolboard.pa.gov. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- Radzievich, Jon Harris, Nicole. “Sands Bethlehem casino to be sold to Alabama Indian tribe for $1.3 billion”. Lehigh Valley Business Cycle. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
- “Las Vegas Sands selling Bethlehem casino for $1.3 billion”. lehighvalleylive.com. Retrieved 2018-03-08.
- Backover, Justin; Lewis, Will (January 15, 2019). “Sands Bethlehem expansion plans include 300-room hotel, possible water park”. Allentown, PA: WFMZ-TV. Retrieved January 15, 2019.
- Harris, Jon (May 31, 2019). “The deal is complete: Sands Bethlehem casino is now owned by Wind Creek Hospitality”. The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
- Gore, Leada (July 16, 2019). “Sands Casino renamed by Poarch Creek, now known as Wind Creek Bethlehem”. The Birmingham News. Retrieved 2019-07-20.
- Darrow, Chuck (November 1, 2011). “Sands opens shopping mall”. The Philadelphia Inquirer. Philadelphia. Retrieved November 4, 2011.
- “Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Fesitval”. Lehigh Valley Food & Wine Festival Website. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- “Venue – Sands Bethlehem Event Center”. Sands Bethlehem Event Center. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- “Sands Event Center to expand, with new balcony, before 2nd anniversary | Howard Kulp Architects”. www.hkulparchitects.com. Retrieved 2017-08-23.
- Moser, John J. (February 12, 2012). “Sands Bethlehem Event Center: Here’s what it looks like, what’s ahead, and why it will succeed”. The Morning Call. Tribune Publishing. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
- Olanoff, Lynn (May 16, 2012). “Sands Bethlehem Event Center holds grand opening before Incubus concert”. The Express-Times. Advance Publications. Retrieved January 3, 2018.
- Moser, John (November 10, 2017). “Janet Jackson seeks respect, wins with hits, at Sands Bethlehem Event Center”. The Morning Call. Retrieved November 13, 2018.
But it also wasn’t a surprise when, after all that, Jackson told the sold-out crowd, “Get the point? Good, let’s dance,” and spent most of the rest of the 34-song show doing a litany of hits.
- Moser, John J. (July 18, 2018). “Britney Spears’ Vegas-style show borders on boring at Sands”. The Morning Call. Allentown, PA. Retrieved 2018-07-20.
Media related to Sands Casino Resort Bethlehem at Wikimedia Commons
The 20 Most Underrated Video Games of the Generation
The PlayStation 5 and Microsoft’s Xbox Project Scarlett are both scheduled to launch next year, and with their release the current gaming generation will come to an end. There are a ton of different video games that have received critical acclaim and high sales figures over the last six years, ranging from platform exclusives to third-party games that released on practically everything. However, there are also plenty of games that didn’t get the appreciation they deserved, either with low review scores or sales, and we’ll be damned if we forget their importance. These are 20 of the most underrated games of the generation, including games on PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.
Dontnod Entertainment did release an excellent sequel to its game Life is Strange, but the studio also had something else cooking that took us by surprise: Vampyr. Set just after World War I, the action-role-playing game stars a doctor who has just been transformed into a vampire and must decide between keeping his Hippocratic Oath and feeding on the living. Its world is filled with unique characters — almost all of whom can be sacrificed to make your character stronger. With supernatural abilities and an atmospheric take on London to explore, it’s enthralling despite its relatively low production values.
Deck13 Interactive’s Lords of the Fallen was a pretty run-of-the-mill Souls-like, with a fantasy setting and little to separate it from similar clones. The studio took a very different direction, however, with The Surge, a science-fiction action-RPG is equal parts Bloodborne and Elysium. With a limb-targeting system, unique upgrades to an exo-suit, and industrial setting, it stood out from the competition and even streamlined some of the genre’s more frustrating mechanics. Its sequel was more widely appreciated, but the first game is definitely worth checking out for anyone looking for their next controller-breaking obsession.
The Evil Within 2
Shinji Mikami directed one of the best survival-horror games of all time, Resident Evil 4, and fans were eager for The Evil Within to see if he was capable of surpassing his masterpiece. The game wasn’t able to match the high standards of its predecessor, often feeling like it was retreading the same ground. However, its much weirder and more polished sequel The Evil Within 2 didn’t want to replicate past successes. Instead, it was a completely original and cerebral take on the genre with storytelling that matched its gameplay. Despite this, sales were very low, and it is unclear if developer Tango Gameworks will be given the chance for a third game.
Read our full The Evil Within 2 review
Developed in collaboration with legendary designer Eugene Jarvis, Housemarque’s Nex Machina might just be the best twin-stick arcade shooter ever made. It’s a relentlessly difficult game that controls like butter, with simple abilities and a huge number of enemies to defeat in order to get through each area and save the humans on the ground. When it comes time to fight a boss, things get quite hectic, and making it through the whole game without dying dozens of times is nearly impossible. Despite being the best game in the studio’s entire catalog, it sold poorly, ultimately leading to Housemarque declaring “arcade is dead” and attempting a comeback in the AAA space, instead. That’s a shame, as it risks losing what made it so special.
Super Daryl Deluxe
Designed primarily by just two people, Super Daryl Deluxe is a Metroidvania game by way of Napoleon Dynamite. Set in a high school where the different classrooms lead to a fantastical world, the game stars the completely silent titular hero, who must venture into the unknown in order to prevent total chaos. The game’s strength lies not only in its gorgeous artwork and music, but its often-hilarious writing. It has jokes about everything from Georgia O’Keeffe to Genghis Khan, all told with a sharp wit and knack for wordplay. Super Daryl Deluxe doesn’t try to reinvent what it means to be an action-platforming game, but it does deliver one fantastic take on the template.
Assassin’s Creed Syndicate
After the horrendously broken Assassin’s Creed Unity launched in 2014, expectations for the series’ future were at an all-time low, but Ubisoft managed to turn things around with Assassin’s Creed Syndicate. Going even further into the future — all the way to the industrial revolution in London — the stealth-action game stars two twin heroes and builds on the classic franchise tropes in new ways. Missions are less frustrating with fewer auto-fail conditions, combat is more challenging and refined, and the simple stealth mechanics are complemented by traversal options such as a grappling hook tool. It was overshadowed by the next year’s Assassin’s Creed Origins as the series became an RPG, but Syndicate is the better game.
Shadow of the Tomb Raider
After launching Rise of the Tomb Raider in 2015, Crystal Dynamics passed off the development torch to Eidos Montreal for its sequel, and Shadow of the Tomb Raider delivered a darker, more personal, and extremely violent conclusion to Lara Croft’s origin story. Set in Latin American, primarily in Peru, the game delivered much of the same stealth and all-out action mixed with traversal we have come to expect from the series, and though it certainly didn’t reinvent the wheel, it was a satisfying way to wrap things up. Of course, there is always still room for another game, and despite the lower review scores compared to its predecessor, Shadow of the Tomb Raider proves that the series is anything but dead.
Read our full Shadow of the Tomb Raider review
Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare
Electronic Arts and Dice have had mixed results with their first-person shooters this generation, ranging from the excellent Battlefield 1 to the underwhelming Star Wars: Battlefront reboot. One game that certainly surprised us, however, was Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, which made use of Dice’s Frostbite engine and was developed by PopCap Games. Taking the tower defense game and turning it into a team-based third-person multiplayer shooter shouldn’t have worked, but the different classes’ goofy abilities and a surprisingly engaging progression system helped to make it an excellent title that never got enough attention. Playing the Garden Ops defense mode with a friend or battling it out against other players never gets old.
Read our full Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare review
Resident Evil: Revelations 2
Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 7 both got plenty of acclaim this generation, but the spinoff horror game Resident Evil: Revelations 2 went relatively under the radar in comparison. Starring a mix of new and returning characters, including Resident Evil 2’s Claire Redfield, the game plays like a mix of the original series and the newer, more action-oriented entries. Rather than the doomed ship setting of the previous game, it finds our heroes on a secluded prison island, and they go up against some of the most terrifying enemies in franchise history. Resident Evil: Revelations 2 lacks the production values of the more successful main games, but its old-school influences make it a must-play for horror fans.
Read our full Resident Evil: Revelations 2 review
Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare
The Call of Duty game that players seem to have forgotten, with bigger titles like Black Ops 4 and Modern Warfare taking the spotlight, Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare was the first game that Sledgehammer Games took the lead on, but it does not have the growing pains one might expect. With a thrilling campaign that warns against the dangers of private military contractors, a vertical multiplayer component with exo-suits, and some of the best weapon handling and progression in the series to date, Advanced Warfare is an outstanding shooter. Perhaps the move further into the future was its undoing, as it will likely never get a sequel, but it’s a Call of Duty game done right.
Read our full Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare review
The Crew 2
Forza Horizon 4 is the best racing game available this generation, but that is no reason to knock Ubisoft’s own open-world games. After the underwhelming The Crew, which suffered from pretty abysmal driving physics and uninteresting world-building, the sequel pulled out all the stops. Cars, trucks, planes, dirt bikes, and even boats are all available as you venture across the United States and compete in races. The game is pretty enormous and has plenty of variety, and The Crew 2 ditches the seriousness of its predecessor for something that just lets you have fun. In a racing game like this, it’s definitely the right move.
The first Rage was a very odd game for Id Software, in large part because it just felt so safe with its post-apocalyptic setting, brown and gray environments, and cookie-cutter combat. For the sequel no one really asked for, the studio partnered with Avalanche Studios of Mad Max and Just Cause fame and managed to deliver a completely different type of game. Still maintaining the vehicular combat of the original, Rage 2’s world is much more colorful and vibrant, its side missions are more entertaining, and most importantly, its first-person shooting feels incredible. Perhaps its relatively uninteresting story remains its downfall, but few other games handle the wasting enemies as well as Rage 2.
Read our full Rage 2 review
Sure, Insomniac Games’ Ratchet & Clank remake and Spider-Man game are both classics, but we cannot forget the outstanding Sunset Overdrive it released near the start of the console generation. Originally an Xbox One exclusive, the game blends goofy third-person action with traversal mechanics similar to the Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater series, all with an irreverent and goofy sense of humor that includes several references to video games themselves and fourth-wall-breaking moments. It didn’t have the name recognition fo some of the studio’s more recent games, but it’s a truly underappreciated gem.
Read our full Sunset Overdrive review
Rough around the edges but with a very solid foundation, Darksiders III may have been a victim of expectations. It’s the sequel to two fairly enormous action-adventure games but developed by a different studio on a fraction of the budget. As such, it’s smaller and shorter, but the core Souls-style combat mechanics and different forms for protagonist Fury still make it incredibly satisfying. The boss design is also excellent, and you feel like every victory is earned rather than given to you with overpowered special attacks.
Read our full Darksiders III review
Valiant Hearts: The Great War
Many war video games attempt to tell an anti-war story while also allowing you to kill hundreds of people. Valiant Hearts: The Great War is not one of those games. Set during World War I and starring several different characters, including a nurse, the game shows how the conflict became a matter of survival and self-preservation for many, and the heroic lengths some went to save their fellow humans. Its environmental and visual storytelling, as well as a truly heartbreaking climax, make it one of the most emotional games of the generation, and one that far too few people have played.
The new game Contra: Rogue Corps is terrible, but the Hard Corps spiritual successor Blazing Chrome is not! Developed as an homage to the classic Contra games of the 16-bit era, this 2D run and gun game delivers an excellent blend of all-out action, difficult boss battles, and weapon choice to deliver the Contra game fans really wanted. Not having the Contra name likely means it will not be played by as many people, but it is far better than anything Konami has done with the series in over a decade.
No Man’s Sky
No Man’s Sky was certainly not underrated when it launched in 2016. In fact, it was extremely disappointing, with an enormous but relatively pointless universe to explore and little incentive for players to keep going. Over the years, however, updates have added multiplayer, base building, quality-of-life improvements, and plenty of customization options that finally bring it into line with what we expected when it was first announced during the VGX Awards. Hello Games isn’t done yet, either, with large content updates released on a regular basis to add even more features.
Read our full No Man’s Sky review
Yes, we’re serious. The first Knack became a meme for its sheer mediocrity, and for the perplexing decision to make it a PS4 launch game. Its sequel, however, is a much more interesting game, with deeper combat and puzzle mechanics and a charming, if familiar, story. It’s the perfect game for a family to enjoy with their kids, and its difficulty strikes a nice balance between genuine challenge — even for adults — and something that younger players can enjoy without frustration.
Read our full Knack 2 review
Super Time Force
Capybara Games’ unique pixel art style has been used for plenty of adventure and role-playing games over the years, but its unique take on the classic sidescrolling run-and-gun might just be its best. Playing like a blend of Metal Slug and a VCR, you control several different time-traveling heroes and can rewind time in order to duplicate them and have them work together to fight enemies. After just a few minutes, the game’s twist becomes second nature, and it deserves much more recognition than it received.
Middle-earth: Shadow of War
When Middle-earth: Shadow of War first released, it was rightly criticized for microtransactions that had no place in a single-player action-adventure game, but once Monolith Productions removed them and streamlined its progression system, we were left with a brilliant sequel to Shadow of Mordor. Building on its foundation, including the excellent Nemesis system, its mix of Batman-style brawling action and Assassin’s Creed stealth give you numerous ways to approach a situation, even if you just want to send in your minions to do your bidding.
Read our full Middle-earth: Shadow of War review