Tribal yacht assembled, getting ready for sailing

NEW TOWN The Three Affiliated Tribes’ new yacht is coming together.

On Thursday, the bottom half of the yacht arrived on a truck from Wisconsin, said Glenda Baker Embry, public information officer for the tribes. The top portion of the yacht arrived about a month ago.

Friday, a crew of about 10 men from Wisconsin were assembling the yacht placing the top portion onto the bottom half at the 4 Bears Marina, west of New Town.

But the yacht won’t be ready for sailing for awhile yet, Embry said.

Tex Hall, tribal chairman, said the current plans are to dedicate the yacht right before the Fourth of July.

The Three Affiliated Tribes own the yacht and the tribally owned 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, west of New Town, will operate it. The yacht will provide another option for casino customers, tribal officials said.

Earlier this year, the tribes’ Class III Tribal-State Gaming Compact was amended. It expanded Class III gaming on tribal trust lands and waters within the exterior boundaries of the reservation and allow the tribes to conduct gaming on Lake Sakakawea.

Scott Wilson, of the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge, said the yacht, a 2002 model, is from Skipper Lines Corp. in Wisconsin. He said it is 96 feet in length and will accommodate 149 passengers.

He said a captain and crew from Wisconsin have been contracted for one year and they will also train people for the yacht while they are here.

Wilson said first, the yacht will be used for dinner and entertainment. The dinners will be catered by the Bison Room, a newly renovated restaurant in the 4 Bears Casino & Lodge. The entertainment on the yacht will be located on the upper level where there is a bar.

Later the yacht will be used for gaming, Embry said.

This year is the 20th anniversary of the casino and lodge. The facility is located along N.D. Highway 23, four miles west of New Town.