To say that Royal River Casino has had a clean history would be an understatement. Since it was established in 1990 by the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe, Royal River has quickly grown to become one of the most popular casino hotels in South Dakota. Today, it thrives thanks to supplying the public with fun games, great food, and live entertainment. But it didn’t get there on its own. Thanks to hard-working staff members like Porter Manager, Sheila Nicol, the Casino has built a squeaky-clean reputation.
“It’s a really good job,” said Nicol, who has been with the Casino for more than 27 years. She started her career when the Casino first took over an old, local bowling alley. “I got started because it’s close to home,” she recalls. “I started working the graveyard shift and it was very, very busy.” She spent her nights on the Casino floor, keeping things clean and chatting with guests. Three months later, she stopped working overnights when she was promoted to System Supervisor, a role she retained until the Casino landed where it is today in 1997.
“I think it has come a long, long way,” she says. Looking back, she says it’s crazy to think how much has changed. Today, she’s the Casino’s Porter Manager. “I keep everything clean, manage my team in the porter department and just keep everything up to date.” She’s been enjoying her new role for the better part of a year. Reflecting on her time at Royal River, she says the biggest change, for her, is that she now works in an office as opposed to the main floor. But she still makes time to come downstairs and visit with guests when she can. “I like the people here,” she said, “they’ve always been nice to me.” To her, not only is it a great place to find a career, but it’s a great place to make lifelong friends. “They’ve always been good. I see no reason to leave.”
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