The addition of a third, 100-suite hotel tower will soon make the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tulsa, Oklahoma the largest gaming and entertainment destination in the region.
Cherokee Nation and Cherokee Nation Entertainment officials broke ground Tuesday on the construction of the third hotel tower, which will add more than 55,000 square feet of entertainment and gaming space to the current resort. The $52 million project is slated to be completed in 2012.
“Today the prosperity of our nation is all around us, as evidenced by the growth of Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa, our largest gaming property,” said Bill John Baker, Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, in a statement. “With that prosperity comes great responsibility to serve the Cherokee people. Projects such as this meet that goal in two ways, by creating jobs and funding vital services for our citizens.”
The resort has been wildly successful since the first hotel tower was built in 2004, boasting the finest rooms in the Tulsa Metro and a 90 percent occupancy rate.
“The addition of more hotel rooms and amenities will allow us to provide an even greater entertainment experience for our guests,” said David Stewart, chief executive officer, Cherokee Nation Entertainment. “We work very hard to provide our guests with an experience they can’t find anywhere else.”
The new tower will also pioneer the way for those seeking a non-smoking gaming and hospitality experience, with a smoke-free casino floor and hotel rooms. Additional entertainment options include a new media bar and an innovative gaming zone with interactive and multiplayer games.
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa currently offers multiple dining options and nightspots, a theater-style event center, convention space, an art gallery, a jewelry store, a clothing store and a championship 18-hole course.
The property will employ nearly 1,500 people when the new tower and gaming floor open for business, an increase of nearly 20 times the number of employees since the property opened in 1993.
“Our growth in the past two decades has been incredible, and we’re extremely excited about the addition of a third tower,” Stewart said in a press release. “The addition of a second hotel tower in 2009 and The Joint in 2010 have propelled our growth and allowed us to provide entertainment and amenities available nowhere else in northeast Oklahoma.”
Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the gaming, entertainment, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. CNE operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; seven Cherokee Casinos in Roland, Sallisaw, West Siloam Springs, Tahlequah, Fort Gibson, Claremore and Ramona; two Cherokee Outpost convenience stores; six retail tobacco shops; four gift shops; two golf courses; the Cherokee Travel Plaza; and four hotels. CNE employs more than 3,500 people in northeast Oklahoma and northwest Arkansas.