First Column set for $125 Million Casino Expansion

Cherokee Casino Resort’s $125 million casino and hotel expansion has made visible headway as the first steel structural support column was recently hoisted into place by one the country’s largest boom cranes. Each steel column weighs nearly 8 tons and 200 will be needed to construct the hotel alone.
The placement of this first steel column marks a milestone for the construction project, which will total 337,000 SF when complete, making Cherokee Casino Resort the largest gaming and resort destination in Oklahoma.
The expansion of Cherokee Casino Resort will create 400 to 500 new jobs, bringing the total number of employees at Cherokee Casino Resort to more than 2,200. Coupled with the current expansion of Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs, which will also add 400 to 500 jobs, Cherokee Nation Enterprises is poised to add at least 1,000 new jobs to the company’s current workforce of 3,300.
The boom crane, transported from Houston, is more than 330 feet tall with the hook height and control box reaching 280 feet. The jib (the horizontal arm) extends approximately 365 feet. Such a large crane is needed to construct the new Cherokee Casino Resort hotel tower, which when complete will reach 230 feet tall and 19 stories.
With the expansion, Cherokee Casino Resort will feature an approximately 1,800-seat entertainment and convention venue, more gaming space to house 750 new electronic games, a Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill restaurant, expanded Wild Potato Buffet and McGill’s restaurants, an upscale nightclub and additional meeting space.
The expanded casino and hotel is slated to open in January 2009.
Cherokee Nation Enterprises is the retail, gaming, entertainment, hospitality and tourism business of the Cherokee Nation. CNE operates casinos in Tulsa, Claremore, Roland, West Siloam Springs, Fort Gibson, Sallisaw and Tahlequah, as well as two Cherokee convenience stores, a full-service travel plaza, seven retail tobacco shops, two gift shops, two golf courses and three hotels.

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