Skip to main content

News Release

Cherokee Nation Businesses


Cherokee Nation Businesses and Legends, a leader in global planning, sales and hospitality, today announced details of its proposal to build a world-class, first-of-its-kind resort destination in Pope County – Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas.

“Since submitting our initial application to the Arkansas State Racing Commission in May, we have remained fully committed to the people of Pope County and to taking our proposed development to the next level,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “Today, with much excitement, we are pleased to unveil our plans. We’ve embraced the community’s feedback and are confident this resort destination brings something for everyone.”

The name Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas is inspired by the definition of a Legend, and the project developed with the needs of the community in mind. Its thoughtfully planned venues and diverse entertainment choices create the perfect setting for guests to feel and be legendary. Throughout the resort and casino property, guests will enjoy a celebration of Arkansas' legendary figures in sports, music and entertainment; its cuisine; and the landscape of The Natural State.

Legends renderings 1920x10803

A unique project designed by international firm HKS Architects, Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas showcases architecture influenced by the distinctive natural landscape of the Arkansas River Valley. The development is planned for Russellville, Arkansas, on approximately 130 acres north of Interstate 40 along Nob Hill Road, between Weir Road and Alaskan Trail.

Scroll to Continue

Read More

The $225 million Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas brings more than world-class entertainment to the region by featuring robust amenities centered around relaxed luxury:

  • Approximately 50,000 square feet of gaming space accommodating 1,200 slot machines and 32 table games; a sportsbook will be located within a high-end sports bar.
  • Luxury hotel with 200 rooms, resort-style pool, spa and fitness center.
  • 15,000 square feet of mixed-use conference and entertainment space accommodating 1,000 people.
  • Robust culinary experience with a variety of food and beverage options – including a food hall, high-end steakhouse, grab & go concept and multiple bar and nightlife options.
  • RV park with 100 spots.
  • Outdoor water park providing fun for the entire family.
  • Outdoor music venue with beautiful spots for gathering and entertainment.

The total statewide economic impact of Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas is projected to exceed $5 billion in the first 10 years. The project is expected to generate more than 1,000 direct jobs, and the estimated timeline for completion is 18 months.

“From the onset, our goal in partnering with Cherokee Nation Businesses has been to create a resort that truly offers something for everyone and provides an unmatched guest experience,” said Bill Rhoda, President of Legends Global Planning. “Most importantly, Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas will create a positive economic impact of benefit to Pope County and the state of Arkansas.”

“Our teams at Cherokee Nation Businesses and Legends take pride in being dedicated and trustworthy community partners with the proven experience to make this economic development project a success. We remain committed to earning the letters of support from local elected officials,” Slaton said.

About Cherokee Nation Businesses

Cherokee Nation Businesses employs more than 7,000 people in 47 states, 25 countries and two U.S. territories. Cherokee Nation Businesses’s gaming and hospitality portfolio, Cherokee Nation Entertainment, manages 10 casinos, a horse racing track, two dozen restaurants, multiple entertainment venues, retail shops, fuel/convenience stores, golf courses, tourist welcome centers, museums, hotels and an RV campground. With 30 years of experience in the gaming and hospitality industry, Cherokee Nation Businesses leads the Oklahoma gaming market. The company was the first to open a resort-style casino hotel destination in the state and the first to open a Las-Vegas style concert venue. Cherokee Nation Businesses prides itself on being the employer of choice and contributes significantly to Cherokee Nation’s $2.16 billion economic impact on northeast Oklahoma. For more information on Cherokee Nation Businesses’s other gaming and resort properties,

About Legends

Founded in 2008, Legends is a holistic experiential services agency with more than 1,500 full-time and 30,000 seasonal team members globally. Legends has three core divisions operating worldwide: Global Planning, Global Sales and Hospitality, offering clients and partners a 360-degree platform to elevate their brand and execute their vision. Currently, Legends works with marquee clients across business verticals including professional sports; collegiate; attractions; entertainment; and conventions and leisure. We are the industry leaders in designing, planning and realizing exceptional experiences in sports and entertainment. For more information, visit and follow Legends at, Twitter and Instagram: @thelegendsway.