By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Mar 02, 2016 at 11:01 AM

Potawatomi Bingo opened its doors on a chilly day in March 1991. Since then, the venue has gone from being no more than a pole shed in Milwaukee's long-dormant Menomonee Valley with seating for 2,500 guests to one of Wisconsin's most visited entertainment venues, hosting more than 6 million guests annually.

In honor of its first 25 years in business, "Poto" (a name locals have adopted for the hotel and casino) will be rolling out a series of special events for its employees and the community, beginning this month.

"From where we began, as a small bingo hall in a long-forgotten Menomonee Valley, to where we are now, Wisconsin’s No. 1 entertainment destination, is remarkable," said Mike Goodrich, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino General Manager in a release sent out late yesterday. "Both the Forest County Potawatomi and Potawatomi Hotel & Casino have literally millions of people to thank for our sustained success."

Giving back

At 6 p.m.Tuesday, March 8, during a community celebration to commemorate its silver anniversary, the property will announce a meaningful gift to a local charitable organization.

From March 19-24, Potawatomi Hotel & Casino team members will be in the community volunteering with a number of area charitable organizations, including a vacant lot clean up with Safe & Sound on March 19; planting, trail maintenance and invasive species removal with the River Revitalization Foundation on March 21; food sorting with Hunger Task Force on March 22; barn restoration at the Mequon Nature Preserve on March 23; and seeding, planting and trail maintenance on March 24 at the Urban Ecology Center on Pierce Street.

Paying it forward

Potawatomi will also be extending its celebration to guests. On March 7 from noon to 8 p.m., guests are invited to the casino’s Woodland Dreams Ballroom for birthday cake and a free commemorative t-shirt. 

Gaming promotions will include Reel Random jackpots on the gaming floor from March 1 through June 30. Slot machine players will have the chance to randomly win a variety of cash and slot credit prizes regardless of the reel combination or the amount wagered. Prizes range from $25 to $25,000. Fire Keeper’s Club membership is not required to win.

There will also be anniversary specials available at Potawatomi dining venues, including $25 entree specials at Dream Dance Steak; a $25 three-course dinner at Locavore; two-for-$25 specials at the Fire Pit Sports Bar & Grill, RuYi and Wild Earth Cucina; and two buffets for $25 at The Buffet Tuesday and Thursday evenings and for Sunday brunch with a Fire Keeper’s Club card.