After announcing earlier this month that they would be teaming up with the federally-recognized Kaw Nation to bring their Rock And Brews restaurant concept to a planned casino in north-central Oklahoma, former KISS band members Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley have officially helped to break ground on the coming Rock And Brews Casino Resort.
The Kaw Nation already runs two SouthWind-branded casinos in the small communities of Braman and Newkirk and is the only tribe in Oklahoma to have completed the two-part determination process under provisions of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, which means that it has the right to operate gambling venues away from its traditional reservation lands.
Expected to open in the small town of Braman, which is located some 125 miles northwest of Tulsa and 55 miles south of Witchita, by the summer of 2019, the 250-room Rock And Brews Casino Resort will also feature a 77,528 sq ft casino along with a bingo hall, spa, conference center and gym. The coming enterprise is to moreover offer a 1,500-seat events center, four luxury retail outlets and a travel plaza while its construction is expected to create around 1,000 temporary and permanent jobs.
“I’m so thrilled that this is happening finally for the Kaw Nation,” said Jacque Secondine Hensley, Tribal Chair for the Kaw Nation. “It’s not only just going to give jobs to some of our citizens but it will also give eyeglasses and dentures and college assistance, so I’m just overwhelmed. Can you believe this is happening here in Braman?”
Simmons and Stanley opened their first Rock And Brews family-friendly restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport in April of 2012 and now have nearly 20 sites across North America including in the cities of Albuquerque, El Segundo and Oklahoma City. This is not the first time the former rock stars have teamed up with an aboriginal group after partnering with the San Manuel Band Of Serrano Mission Indians a few months ago to open a franchise inside California’s 300,000 sq ft San Manuel Indian Bingo And Casino.
“You don’t know how big this is going to become,” said 67-year-old Simmons. “You’ve got to remember, Las Vegas was desert once upon a time [and] now 44 million people come into Las Vegas every year. If we get 1/100th of that coming here, it’s going to be an explosion.”
Simmons declared that the new Kay County casino, which is being built alongside United States Interstate 35 near the Oklahoma border with Kansas, will benefit the Kaw Nation and help to raise the tribe’s profile internationally.
“It isn’t just going to be a fancy place where rock stars and beautiful women and gaming are going to go on,” said Simmons. “It’s actually going to substantially increase everybody’s life quality in and around the area. People are going to come here from all over the world.”
For his part, 64-year-old Stanley proclaimed that the coming Rock And Brews Casino Resort is set to be “amazing [and] like nothing anyone here has seen”.
“Someone just said to me “Why would you do it in the middle of nowhere?” and I said “Everywhere is somewhere”,” said Stanley. “There’s no such thing as nowhere. People don’t choose where they’re born and people should be proud of where they are from and every big idea starts in someplace probably improbable. So, for us, being here, we’re proud to be here.”