OXFORD — The local casino announced Thursday the hiring of its vice president and general manager, Jack Sours.

Sours, 45, has been working in casinos since 1999, when he was hired as a financial analyst for Isle of Capri Casino in Colorado, according to his online profile. By the end of 2005, he’d move up to general manager. In January 2009, he moved east to run the Mountaineer Casino Racetrack in West Virginia, where he worked until March 2011.

He has been on the job in Oxford since Dec. 1, according to Scott Smith, community relations director for Black Bear Development. Smith said Black Bear is “very excited” about Sours, who has already moved to the area from Pennsylvania.

Smith said more hires are coming soon. “We are actively interviewing for the remainder of our leadership team,” Smith said Thursday.

A release from the casino said Black Bear will hire “several hundred full and part-time employees, with additional staffing as the facility expands.”

Smith said work at the Route 26 site is still on schedule for an opening in late June. He said he expects to hold job fairs in the area as early as March for positions in the gaming floor, security, food and beverage, information technology, and other areas.

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He said the casino leadership has had talks with Central Maine Community College about training classes for casino workers, but said they haven’t made concrete plans. In Bangor, Eastern Maine Community College is currently training for dealers, pit bosses and other jobs.

In November, voters in Penobscot County approved table games for Hollywood Slots. The Bangor racino plans to begin offering table games in March.

Smith said he estimates at least 200 workers have been involved in the casino’s construction, which in recent weeks has included roofing work by Hahnel Bros. of Lewiston, masonry by Phoenix Associates of New Gloucester and drywall by Zimba Drywall of Fairfield. On Thursday, dozens of cars and trucks were parked in the lot.

The completed casino will have table games, slot machines, a bar and restaurant of 65,000 square feet. Expansions, including hotels, a conference center and a parking garage are tentatively planned, depending on how well the casino performs initially.

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Note: A previous version of this story named the wrong drywall contractor. The mistake has been corrected. It was incorrectly given to the Sun Journal.


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