Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop grand opening is Friday, February 28

TOWER — With always fresh coffee and baked goods so irresistible — it’s no wonder people are clamoring to get their fix of Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop.

“Things have been going extremely well,” said Deb Pinski just days before the official grand opening of Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop at Fortune Bay Resort Casino. “Our customers are thrilled to be able to get such a well known brand right here in northeastern Minnesota.”

While the business has been operational for nearly a month, officials wanted to make sure the staff was ready to go forward with the grand opening, which is slated for Friday, February 28 from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

Customers who make a beverage purchase will get one free spin at the prize wheel to win a Tim Hortons baked good or beverage. Customers who sign up for the Tim Hortons drawing will be eligible to win a one night stay in a premium king suite, dinner for two in the Sunset Steakhouse and $25 Fortune Play.

“We are thrilled to have joined forces with the Tim Hortons franchise,” said Gary Gotchnik CEO at Fortune Bay Resort Casino. “We’re always looking for ways to add amenities to our property and we feel that this was a great way to do just that.”

Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is located on the main floor at Fortune Bay Resort Casino. It is open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

There are a wide variety of hot and cold beverages and several dozen varieties of fresh baked donuts, cookies, muffins and other goodies.

Schedule of events for Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop Grand Opening
Friday, February 28
6:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

6 a.m.: Open the doors. Customers who order a beverage get a chance to spin the wheel for a prize. The prizes expire at the end of the business day Sunday, March 2nd.

We will also have a grand prize drawing for a one night stay in a premium king suite, dinner for two in Sunset Steakhouse ($50 value) and $25 Fortune Play. Customer does not need to be present to win.

7 a.m. to 10 a.m. WELY End of the Road Radio will do live remote.

9 a.m.: Bois Forte Tribal Council and other top RTG officials will do the ribbon cutting and say a few words about the new business partnership with Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop

11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.: WEVE Radio will do a live remote.

2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.: KBFT Radio will do a live remote.

5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.: Continue with grand opening. Have some announcements made on the casino floor reminding customers of the grand opening and asking them to sign up for grand prize.

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Contact: Brian K. Anderson, Public Relations Manager, Fortune Bay Resort Casino, 218-753-7882, bkanderson@fortunebay.com

ALS Black Woods Blizzard Tour rides into Fortune Bay

TOWER — Fortune Bay Resort Casino will once again be a hub of activity later today as the annual ALS Black Woods Blizzard Tour rides onto property.

And like every year, the event will have the great support from the likes of former Minnesota Twins greats Kent Hrbek and Terry Steinbach to help raise money for the ALS Association.

“We are fortunate to have such great support from the Minnesota Twins,” said ALS Special Events Coordinator Sandy Judge. “They have been by our side for years. With ALS hitting close to home with the fathers of Hrbek and Steinbach both dying of the disease— the Twins realize the importance of supporting causes close to their players, past and present, and coaches.”

Judge said this year’s event should be another successful one as over 175 riders had registered by mid-January. Some of the monies raised helps to fund research for ALS, which is better known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease. However, most of the monies raised goes toward helping people affected with ALS utilize durable medical equipment, communication and assistive devices as well as respite care for their family care giver(s).

“We have great support from our sponsors and many returning riders, plus 32 new riders,” said Judge, who has been organizing this event for the past 8 years. “Kent Hrbek was instrumental in creating the ALS Association, MN/ND/SD Chapter. He is well known and gives the ALS Association a ‘face’ that people can relate to.”

Judge said that the popular former Twins’ star has always been more than generous with his time, talents and resources—not only for this event, but also for those in the sports industry that have been impacted by an ALS diagnosis.

Despite the efforts of the ALS Association, the fight against the dreaded disease is still being lost. However, Judge and others working on behalf of those impacted by ALS are confident that the work they are doing is making a difference.

“This could be devastating to us,” said Judge. “But we see hope each day. The families affected by this terrible disease are the strongest we know. They find the silver lining in all of their challenges. We enjoy helping them through their journey by guiding them and providing equipment at no charge.”

Judge said the participants will put nearly 400 miles on their sleds during the three plus day event, which culminates with an appreciation dinner catered by Black Woods at Cirrus Aircraft in Duluth.

The ALS Blizzard Tour will arrive at Fortune Bay Resort Casino Thursday afternoon. They will have a dinner in the Woodlands Ballroom Thursday evening and then a breakfast Friday morning before heading out. Minnesota Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire, assistant coach Joe Vavra and former Twins’ catcher Tim Laudner will also be partaking in the event.

“Fortune Bay has been an important component to this event,” said Judge. “They’ve been wonderful to work with in coordinating hotel accommodations for the riders and the meals are wonderful. A few years ago, we had so little snow that we had to make alternative plans for the riders. Fortune Bay was ready to help us plan other activities.”

Judge said those plans worked out well as the riders had time to really meet each other in small groups.

“This would not have happened on the trails when riding,” said Judge. “While we prefer to ride on the snow, Fortune Bay helped us turn a potential loss into a great weekend.”

Lack of snow won’t be a problem this year as the area snowmobile trails and those across the region are in excellent shape to ensure the 2014 Black Woods Blizzard Tour will be a great one.

“The Black Woods Blizzard Tour truly is a family in itself,” said Judge. “We always talk about the Blizzard Tour family when asked about the event. The riders look forward to the ride each year—but even more so, they look forward to seeing those that they have met the year before. Many relationships have been created at the event and those fast friendships have lasted for years.”

Each rider has to raise a minimum of $1,200 in pledges to participate in the event.

And while the riders do their part in raising money and awareness for ALS, Judge said it’s the special event sponsors and donors who play an instrumental role in raising much-needed funds.

“They make donations when we need them and they help us meet financial goals,” said Judge. “They understand our mission to empower people with ALS to live fuller lives, provide compassionate care and support. We lose too many people each year to the disease. Yet we are fortunate to have met them and interact with them and their families.”

If you would like to donate to the ALS Association, go to www.blackwoodblizzardtour.com

Bois Forte Band to Open Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop

CafeBakeShopLogo w shieldLegendary donuts, coffee and much more coming to Fortune Bay

TOWER – Call it an early Valentine’s Day present: the Bois Forte Band is bringing some of the sweetest treats to northern Minnesota when it opens a Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop in Fortune Bay Resort Casino on January 31.

“Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is a dynamic U.S. brand in the bakery cafe restaurant segment,” said Band Chairman Kevin Leecy. “We are excited to partner with them and bring their quality products to Fortune Bay guests.”

With more than 800 restaurants across the United States, Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is known and loved for its always fresh coffee and variety of baked goods, including its bite-sized donuts called Timbits, which are available in a number of varieties and seasonal flavors.

“Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is committed to serving the freshest cup of coffee,” said Deb Pinski, manager of the Band’s Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop. “Tim Hortons coffee is made with 100 percent Arabica beans from the world’s most renowned coffee regions. It is always brewing and is always served 20 minutes fresh.”

Located just past the all-new Tamarack Buffet, Fortune Bay’s Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop will be open seven days a week from 6 a.m. until 8 p.m.

There will be a seating area for 20, and guests will be able to watch the baking process unfold before their eyes as they enjoy donuts, bagels, croissants and muffins. Early risers will appreciate the convenience of grabbing a quick cup of coffee and a fresh baked donut before heading out to start their day.

Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop is a bakery cafe chain that appeals to a broad range of consumer tastes, with a menu that includes premium coffee, espresso-based beverages, specialty teas and fresh baked goods.

Bite-size detail: Tim Hortons Cafe & Bake Shop in Fortune Bay Resort Casino. Opens January 31. Seven days a week from 6 a.m.- 8 p.m.

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FBRC schedules Customer Appreciation Day

What better way to show customers that they are appreciated than by having a Customer Appreciation Day?

And that’s exactly what has been planned by Fortune Bay Resort Casino for Saturday, October 5 from noon until 5 p.m. in the North Star Hall. Original plans called for the event to be outside, but with inclement weather being forecasted, management decided to move it indoors.

“I think it’s important for us to let our customers know that we appreciate their business and to show them a good time,” said FBRC Food and Beverage Manager Carrie Matthias.

With the festivities planned, accomplishing that goal shouldn’t be a problem as Matthias and Player Development Manager Hannah Lehti came up with numerous interactive games to enjoy while winning a lot of great prizes.

Those prizes include free resort stays, breakfast buffets, dinner buffets, appetizers, Fortune Play, Blackjack chips, bonus points and drawing tickets into October’s main promotions. As an added bonus, guests who earn 27 points on their player’s card either Friday or leading up to the event Saturday, will have their choice of a polar fleece blanket or a stainless steel Thermos travel mug.

The event is centered around a fall harvest theme, complete with bales of hay set up as a maze for customers to walk around as they go from station to station playing games such as Beat The Dealer, Plinko, Bean Bag Toss, Punchboard and Cash Walk.

“We felt that with the beautiful fall colors we have in northern Minnesota it would be a great idea to go with this theme, which allows customers the feel of a carnival with casino hosted games and prizes,” said Matthias. “It would have been great to have it outdoors, but we’re confident our customers will still have a great time.”

The customers will also be treated to complimentary appetizers, hot cider, hot chocolate and fresh caramel apples. Executive Chef Dan Schimka will also be roasting a pig outside and then serving up pork sliders to the guests, along with chips and a beverage.

“We hope that everyone comes out and enjoys this special day because this day is really about them,” said Matthias. “We just want to thank them for supporting us for the past 27 years!”

Sunset Steakhouse Opens

As a Chicago native with years of experience cooking in the finest restaurants, Dan Schimka knows what it takes to satisfy those looking for a memorable dining experience.

And Schimka has no doubts that when the doors officially open to Fortune Bay Resort Casino’s Sunset Steakhouse this afternoon customers will get that same feeling right here on the shores of Lake Vermilion.

“Chicago is the steakhouse capital of the world,” said Schimka as he enthusiastically discussed the new steakhouse just hours before it officially opens. “My past experience has helped me pick the right products and the right cooking methods to serve these 21 day aged steaks.”

The steaks Schimka is referring to are what he hopes will separate the Sunset Steakhouse from any other steakhouse in the region. He said the process entails full loins being shipped in, stored in a cooler with proper humidity and a fan gently blowing on the product.

“It dries the outside, which in turn breaks down the enzymes to make it even more tender and more flavorful,” explained Schimka of the process. “We then cut that dry age off prior to preparing the steak.”

Schimka said each steak would be individually cut once on property to ensure the product chosen by a customer is as individual as the person placing the order.

“It’s actually a very old world, old school type of process that has been around forever,” said Schimka.

To stay with that old school theme, Schimka ordered charcoal based stoves to cook the steaks. Yes, the process may be more laborious, but Schimka did not want to take any shortcuts with this new endeavor.

“I don’t believe anybody else on the Iron Range is doing dry aged beef for steaks,” he said. “We wanted to create our own identity— from our décor, our flatware to the uniforms that our employees are going to wear.”

Schimka said the discussion for a steakhouse has been around for a few years, but hadn’t really gained serious consideration until six months ago. It was at that time, that upper management and the Bois Forte Tribal Council felt confident this new dining option was the right move to make.

“We always wanted to expand our dining options for our guests and we feel the Sunset Steakhouse was the perfect way to accomplish that,” said CEO Gary Gotchnik. “We feel with Chef Dan’s personality and talents that this new restaurant will be a great benefit—not only to our property but to the Lake Vermilion area as well.”

Schimka concurred.

“I think it’s going to work great for everybody to be able to offer our customers a new dining choice,” said Schimka. “We wanted to add another level of dining and to just bring a higher quality of product on the Iron Range for a reasonable price.”

Schimka said he’s confident that the current Tamarack staff, along with a few new hires, will be able to hit the ground running once the steakhouse opens. He’s also confident that customer service will be second to none as will the quality of food that leaves the kitchen.

“I’m really excited about this opportunity,” said Schimka of the steakhouse. “It’s going to be great for our customers and the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa because it’s a move forward for the casino and the resort.”