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Treasure Island completing final touches

Crews will put as many finishing touches as possible on the Treasure Island Resort & Casino Hotel before Friday's ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Wednesday's "to do" list included laying sod, hanging ceiling tiles and lights as well installing the casino's giant logo, a toucan, on the covered entryway.

Designing the two-piece sign, which incorporates LED lights, was a technical challenge. Hanging it was another, crew members said.

"The scope was amazing in terms of envisioning it in the wall," Paul Tinetti said. He is the project's lead fabricator with the Minneapolis firm 3 Ring Scenic.

"Now it's just seeing it put in place," he said, watching Knutson Construction workers help 3 Ring Scenic staff members lift the wing into place.

Since the figure isn't rectangular, the crews had to reposition suspension straps a few times to distribute weight correctly and use guy ropes to move the parts safely.

When it came time to position the head and connect wiring, Tinetti used an aerial lift to get a bird's-eye view.

The Prairie Island Mdewakanton community, who owns Treasure Island Resort, will mark completion of the $50 million addition at 5 p.m. Friday. The second, third, fourth and fifth floors of the seven-story hotel addition will house guests this weekend.

Work on several features, including the 24-lane Island Xtreme Bowl, will continue through next week, however.

The grand opening for the addition -- which also includes the Island Event and Convention Center and 230 more hotel rooms -- will be Aug. 30. The event center's opening act will feature country star Tim McGraw.

The center will seat 3,000 people, Public relations manager Krystal Ohlhaber said. The state-of-the-art Elacoustics Linearray V-Dos Sound System will help attract big-name entertainers to Treasure Island's venue.

The seating arrangement means no audience member will be more than 125 feet from these entertainers, she said. That intimate setting plus two 14-by-24-foot retractable video screens will provide the quality experience audience members' want.

When big-name entertainers aren't packing the event center, the 30,000-square-foot space easily converts into six separate meeting rooms with individual entrances, Ohlhaber said. The special dividing walls that drop from the ceiling are sound proof.

"I'm told you could have a Tim McGraw playing on this side and not hear him on the other," she said.

Emerging from the finished and quiet show room, Ohlhaber talked over the sounds of saws, hammers and construction equipment.

"When we set out an aggressive construction schedule a year and three months ago, some people questioned whether we'd get it done," Ohlhaber said. "We did it."