Parrot Heads had to be happy on Friday, January 29 as a tropical palm tree was hoisted on a steal beam to the top of the hotel tower under construction at the site of the River Spirit Casino Resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma as Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville piped through the speakers.
In a topping-off ceremony, a native tree is often chosen by builders of tall buildings to be placed at the top of a building in a show of respect for the land. In this case, nothing could have been more appropriate than a palm tree riding a steal beam to the 27th and final floor marking the completion of the frame of the new addition to the complex.
The expansion and new home of Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville casino and restaurant is by far the nation’s biggest developmental undertaking in the area, and with the addition of 1.2 million square feet to the tune of $365 million and 483 hotel rooms, it tops every other facility in the area. One-thousand more full-time jobs will also be added. Margaritaville’s CEO John Cohlan said the local development was one of the better-executed Margaritaville projects seen by the company, and the opening might even drew Jimmy Buffet. Officials also announced that by Labor Day weekend everything except the hotel tower will be completed, according to Tulsa World.
A two-level Margaritaville restaurant, bar with two outdoor decks that overlook the Arkansas River, retail outlet with a stage for live music, a seaplane and an erupting volcano that spews lava into a giant blender, will be the centerpiece of the casino-level addition. A tropical-themed pool deck will adorn the riverfront complete with cabanas, fire pits, palm trees and multiple bars, one with swim-up seating. Other food venues include a Margaritaville Coffee Shop and still in discussions, a Mickey Mantle’s Steakhouse. Fifty-thousand square feet of gaming space will also be included in the casino-level addition, which will be space for 27 table games, 850 gaming machines, and entertainment venue capable of accommodating more than 2,500 seated guests, and 30,000 square feet of meeting and event space.
Manhattan RedStone Construction’s project director, Ryan Haynie, said the addition’s interior in being finished out with drywall. Haynie added that for the hotel portion, so far the glass skin has been completed to the 20th floor, with the remainder to be completed within the next six weeks, and cranes coming down in the next two to three months. Finally, a new parking structure capable of handling 1,206 vehicles will be built and the resort’s main entrance will be moved to 83rd Street.
To give its décor a more tropical feel, renovations were completed last year on the older part of Margaritaville. The renovation boasts a 5,000 square-foot “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” bar, which is the largest of all the Margaritaville resorts.