Yesterday the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma broke ground on a $23 million casino — the tribe's 10th gaming facility.
Scheduled to open in winter 2017, the tribe will hire 175 people to staff the gaming attraction in Grove, Oklahoma. The 39,000 square-foot complex will house 400 electronic games, table games, a private high-limit poker room, a restaurant, a full-service bar, a live music venue, a dance floor, an event space and an outdoor patio.
“As Principal Chief, nothing makes me prouder than providing quality jobs for the Cherokee people,” Chief Bill John Baker said in a press release. “Our entertainment division consistently brings to the market the best jobs and the best entertainment options. The jobs created by this venue drive our economy, and the financial success of our businesses is reinvested throughout northeast Oklahoma to provide a better quality of life for the Cherokee people.”
The tribe purchased the 24-acre site in 2013.
“We’ve had an interest in the Grove area for years,” said Shawn Slaton, chief executive officer of Cherokee Nation Businesses, the parent company of Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “The lakeside community is attractive because of its leisure lifestyle, so the casino’s offerings and amenities will cater to that lifestyle as well as bring the best entertainment experience to the area.”
Cherokee Nation Enterprises — the region's entertainment leader — employs 4,000 people and operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; eight Cherokee Casinos, including a horse racing track; three hotels; three golf courses and other retail operations. The tribe’s minimum wage is $9.50 per hour, well above the federal minimum wage, and it comes with a benefits package for full-time employees.