4 Bears Casino & Lodge hopes to launch its new riverboat this summer

4 Bears Casino & Lodge hopes to launch its new riverboat this summer

NEW TOWN — 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, west of New Town, has been working at launching a new riverboat, River Willow Gaming Riverboat, for a few months, but with the drought, water level and other uncertainties it has been proven to be an undertaking.

In conjunction with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Three Affiliated Tribes (Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation) and 4 Bears Casino & Lodge are enduring some hurdles to get the 80-foot ship to shore from land.

River Willow was delivered to New Town in three pieces and has been fully constructed on site. Currently the finishing touches are being completed across the highway from the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, where it proudly announces its presence to onlookers. The riverboat has two huge Cummins engines and the three sections were pieced together on site.

All of the finishing touches are being completed, as 4 Bears is hoping to set sail this summer, said Dave Bren, marketing director.

Unlike the Island Girl, the 4 Bears yacht, the riverboat has the weight capacity to carry the slot machines.

River Willow will have slot machines, blackjack, a food galley, bars and bathrooms on the first deck, said Bren.

The middle deck will have event space, a bar, food or catering areas and bathrooms. The top deck will be a scenic viewing deck with a bar and bathrooms.

During the winter months the riverboat will remain in the water with aerators keeping the winter elements at bay.

Essentially it will be a “casino experience,” along with beautiful views, Bren said.

River Willow will be available for event rentals as was its predecessor, the Island Girl yacht at 4 Bears.

Excursions for the River Willow will run three times daily and for two- to three-hour cruises each at approximately $20 per person. Guests can book their trip by contacting the Events Department at the casino. Points earned from Players Club cards are accepted to book a tour.