Oz in the News 6.3.15

GYzqo.AuSt.77Yellow Brick Road Casino Opens in Chittenango  It’s been less than six months since the Oneida Indian Nation announced plans for a new casino, and now, those plans are reality. Chittenango, home of the annual Oz Fest, now has a $20 million Wizard of Oz-themed casino. And the new casino has not been without its controversy. Some critics claim the Oneidas, by adopting the Wizard of Oz theme, have remained strangely silent about the personal views of L. Frank Baum, the author of the story, who also authored blistering editorials advocation deadly action against various Indian nations. “It’s about a story. It’s not about a person’s beliefs. This is about a story and a product that somebody made. People have done products, art works throughout their lives and lived different kinds of lives. This is about something everybody recognizes as as one of the most iconic stories that we have in Americana,” Halbritter said.

‘Wizard of Oz’-themed strip mall casino opens  With new competition looming, a New York Indian tribe is expanding its gambling business with a small “The Wizard of Oz”-themed casino in a strip mall near Syracuse. The Yellow Brick Road Casino on Indian land near a Chittenango grocery store is modest compared with the Oneidas’ sprawling Turning Stone Resort Casino some 20 miles east. It opens on Tuesday. L. Frank Baum, author of “The Wizard of Oz,” was born in Chittenango. Bingo games will be held in the 500-seat Wizard Hall, cocktails will be served at the Winged Monkey and guests will get chances to collect money in a “Cyclone of Cash.” The new casino also has 441 slot machines, and Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter said they plan to add table games.

Witch Flying Over CNY Promotes Yellow Brick Road Casino  If you happen to see a witch flying over the Central New York skies this week — your eyes aren’t playing a wicked trick on you. A remote control witch made its debut at Destiny USA in Syracuse Monday. It will be flown in different spots around the area this week to promote the Oneida Nation’s new Yellow Brick Road Casino.

Every franchise you love will collide brick-first in ‘Lego Dimensions’  We saw gameplay of Lego Dimensions during a press preview in May, where we could play through three distinct levels. Two of those were set in franchise worlds — The Wizard of Oz and Scooby-Doo! — so we saw how the game handled each new environment. Players are treated to some classic Lego game situations, such as puzzle solving with your Lego tools, and using characters’ special powers to navigate different situations. But there was also combat — between us and the Wicked Witch of the West — that involved both using the characters’ in-game weapons and interacting with the Lego Dimensions toy pad. During a boss fight, the toy pad would flash if characters were being held by an enemy, and players would have to physically move them to a different section to break them free.

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