Market Sector Gaming Buildings

Buffington Harbor Riverboat Casino

Buffington Harbor Riverboat Casino

When Donald Trump and Don Barden decided to establish Trump Casino (now The Majestic Star Casino) on the shores of Gary, Indiana, Buffington Harbor had never had shore-based facilities that offered docking, queuing, dining or entertainment. A flexible solution was needed that would optimize dollars and provide a versatile alternative to conventional construction. Sprung was called upon to provide the perfect solution.

Nestled on the shorelines of Lake Michigan, Buffington Harbor Riverboat Casino is an 80,000-square-feet hospitality and entertainment facility housed in a customized Sprung structure that provides support for two 37,000-square-feet cruise ships used for riverboat gaming.

A highly aesthetic and fully functioning facility was created by incorporating architectural features such as large custom windows, marble finishes, chandeliers, elevators and escalators. To conceal security, lighting and HVAC sources, an attractive interior membrane was also installed. Structural design features include a custom roof connection for second-level access to a 500-foot walkway erected on a floating barge, which accommodates a 10-foot rise in Lake Michigan water levels. Its proximity to water and rapidly changing weather means heavy snow loads and high wind gusts; Sprung’s uniquely sloped design ensures protection against roof collapse during winter and is engineered to withstand 80 mph exposure D winds (high winds flowing over open water).

Unparalleled in construction and cost, Sprung structures have the capacity for relocation and the speed of assembly that helped Trump-Barden minimize the financial risk associated with large-scale gaming operations.


“I am going to build a facility the likes of which you have never seen. It will be world class in every way.”