Construction workers place the ceremonial beam to top out construction of the Cherokee Casino & Hotel Roland.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, left, Janelle Fullbright, middle, and David Thornton, both Cherokee council members representing Sequoyah County, all spoke at the topping out ceremony Monday at the construction site of the new Cherokee Nation Casino and Hotel in Roland.
An artist's drawing of the new casino and hotel was on display Monday.
It was announced at a topping out ceremony Monday held to celebrate the construction of the new entertainment destination, that the Cherokee Nation's new $80 million casino and hotel in Roland is expected to be complete this summer, and will provided 100 more jobs for the area.
In building construction, topping out is a builders' rite traditionally held when the last beam is placed atop a structure during its erection. The last beam placed Monday on the new casino and hotel was painted white and signed by those present before it was placed atop the new building. The beam carried the U.S. and Cherokee flags and an evergreen tree, a tradition that traces back to an ancient Scandinavian rite.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker said, "Today marks a significant step toward completion of our Roland expansion. The Cherokee Nation's growth means more money for infrastructure, roads and schools in Sequoyah County. That is good for the Cherokee Nation citizens and good for our partners at the municipal, county and state levels. The new hotel and casino are not only going to be bigger and better, but they will create more quality career opportunities in this region of the Cherokee Nation."
The casino will offer 850 electronic games, table games and a poker room. Guests can choose from two dining options, a grab-and-go cafe' and a Las Vegas-style buffet. Along with the expanded gaming options, guests can enjoy a cocktail and live music at the entertainment venue. The plans include a resort-style hotel, featuring 120 rooms, along with convention space to host conferences, special events, weddings and trade shows.
Shawn Slaton, chief executive officer for Cherokee Nation Businesses, said, "It's an exciting time in our company when we can come full circle. We are bringing our guests the best in gaming entertainment and hospitality. The new structure allows us to bring the newest and most exciting options to our guests, while bringing growth to the community where we got our first start. It's a great day for Sequoyah County and this region."
Crews expect to complete the new 170,000 square-foot facility this summer.
Janelle Fullbright, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor representing district 6 in Sequoyah County said, "This new casino and hotel is a wonderful thing for Sequoyah County. It means more employment opportunities for the area and is something we've waited a very long time to have. We are really excited and happy about the growth it will bring to the area."
Fullbright said after the ceremony it was expected the new business would add 100 jobs to the local economy, which already benefits from the 320 jobs at the present casino.
David Thornton, Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor for district 5, a portion of Sequoyah County, said, "Councilor Fullbright and I have longed for this day for 15 years. I want to thank Chief Baker for his vision and the business team for getting this done. It's going to be a great thing for Sequoyah County."
The first Cherokee Nation Bingo Outpost was opened in Roland in 1990. Twenty-five years later, the property has become one of the region's leading entertainment venues.
Today, the 50,000-square-foot property features more than 600 electronic gaming machines, seven poker tables, six table games and a 24-hour diner.
Cherokee Nation Entertainment operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; seven Cherokee Casinos, including a horse racing track; three hotels; three golf courses; and other retail operations. The region's entertainment leader employs more than 3,500 people.
Cherokee Casino Roland is located off Highway 64 on Cherokee Boulevard in Roland. For more information on Cherokee Casinos, visit www.cherokeecasino.com or call (800)256-2338. All guests must be at least 21 years of age to attend.
Sally Maxwell, Senior News Director
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