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Native-run WorthGroup Architects Reports Rise in Casino Design Projects

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WorthGroup Architects, the creative minds behind the innovative design of the recently renovated Choctaw Casino Resort in Durant, Oklahoma—amongst many other projects—are noticing a surge in business.

In January 2011, the native-run WorthGroup Architects completed a 17,000-square-foot remodeling project on the tribal casino. Bold colors, a mountain-forest theme and sharp edges fading into sinuous curves are evocative of traditional tribal art.

Since February, the Reno, Nevada-based WorthGroup Architects' business has taken off. While the firm experienced a 30 percent decline in business with the onset of the recession, within the past five months, it has started work on eight casino projects, Brian Fagerstrom, president of the firm, told Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

Founded 21 years ago, Fagerstrom credits the rise in gaming projects to owners taking advantage of both recession recovery and still-depressed prices for construction, reported Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

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Rather than reaping business from traditional gaming markets in Reno, Las Vegas, or Atlantic City, New Jersey, WorthGroup is banking on casino architecture projects in Oklahoma, California, Southern Oregon and the Southwest—something Fagerstrom calls "market in-fill projects.”

Tribal gaming dominates WorthGroup's accounts, and it's inspiring casino design in general, Fagerstrom told Northern Nevada Business Weekly. “It’s much more sophisticated instead of being in your face,” he says. “The goal is to make people comfortable.”

Fagerstrom, who is of American Indian heritage, notes gaming properties today more commonly feature American Indian design elements and reflect Indian customs and traditions.

Check out the grand unveiling of the Choctaw Casino Resort: