In South Dakota, approximately 40 full and part-time employees of the Midnight Star Bar and Casino are now reportedly looking for work after iconic American actor Kevin Costner announced the closure of his Deadwood venue after over 25 years of operation.
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According to a report from the Black Hills Pioneer newspaper, 62-year-old Costner opened the casino and its second-floor Diamond Lil’s restaurant shortly before the release of his epic Western film Dances With Wolves, which featured scenes shot in the area.
However, the venue on Deadwood’s historic Main Street closed on Tuesday almost 18 months after Costner shuttered his adjacent Jake’s Restaurant enterprise, which had run for 25 years.
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“When I opened the Midnight Star [Bar and Casino] in 1989, it was because of my deep love for Deadwood and the Black Hills of South Dakota and their historical importance in our country’s story,” Costner reportedly told the Black Hills Pioneer on Tuesday. “I hoped that resurrecting and restoring the famed Phoenix Block Building would allow it, as the Midnight Star [Bar and Casino], to also become a part of the famed Deadwood story. And from the casino to Diamond Lil’s, I was enormously proud of what the Midnight Star [Bar and Casino] became.”
The Associated Press reported that the closure comes four years after Costner put 1,000 acres of land he owns near Deadwood on the market for $14 million. Last year saw hotel management firm Deadwood Hospitality Resort pay about $7.5 million for just over 100 acres of this property while no sale for the Midnight Star Bar and Casino has yet been announced.
“It is with a heavy heart that I have to say that today the lights of the Midnight Star [Bar and Casino] will go out for the last time,” Costner reportedly told the Black Hills Pioneer. “But we had a great 28-year run and that is nothing to be ashamed of. I will be eternally grateful for the dedication and hard work of all the management and staff at the Midnight Star [Bar and Casino].”