The Eastern Shawnee Tribe Of Oklahoma is reportedly ahead of schedule to complete a new $36 million hotel tower for its Indigo Sky Casino and recently held a topping-off ceremony to celebrate laying the final steel girder for the coming 127-room facility.
According to a report from The Miami News Record newspaper, the federally-recognized tribe announced plans to build the tower in June and is now hoping to open the seven-story structure by July.
“This is a monumental occasion,” Glenna Wallace, Chief for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe Of Oklahoma, told the newspaper. “My mother was secretary [and] treasurer of this tribe. My mother’s birthday would have been three days ago. She would have been 103 years of age. She died at the age of 90. I regret that she isn’t able to see what has happened here because it’s people like my mother and people and chiefs whose shoulders we stand upon who have made this possible for us. When my mother was secretary [and] treasurer for this tribe our entire yearly budget was $50 a year.”
The Eastern Shawnee Tribe Of Oklahoma, which also operates the Outpost Casino next to its tribal offices, reportedly revealed that the hotel tower at its casino some seven miles east of the small town of Wyandotte will feature up to three suites and bring the total room allowance for its Indigo Sky Casino to 244.
“They had dreams [and] without those dreams, without holding this tribe together, we wouldn’t be here today,” Wallace told The Miami News Record. “We stand here, one generation later, and there is no way that when I first began to serve on the business committee, which would have been 28 years ago, there is no way that I could have begun to fathom the progress that we would make and what would happen to this tribe. So it truly is a day of celebration.”
The tribe moreover reportedly explained that the Indigo Sky Casino development has provided employment for up to 250 construction workers while up to 45 new full-time employees are to be hired once the eastern Oklahoma venue opens for business.
“This is a monumental event [and] I’m so excited,” Cheryl Barnes, Business Committee for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe Of Oklahoma, told the newspaper. “I’m so grateful. I’m glad we’ve had no safety issues [and that] everybody is good.”
The coming Ottawa County facility is moreover reportedly set to feature a new banquet and events space with seating for up to 600, a ballroom for concerts and two meeting rooms.
“We don’t have enough rooms and that’s a good problem,” Barnes told The Miami News Record. “We have great customer service [and] we’re very proud of that.”
As if all of this wasn’t enough, the Eastern Shawnee Of Oklahoma reportedly proclaimed that the project will see the existing building, which already hosts three food venues, two bars, a banquet space, 1,275 slots, pool, poker, off-track betting, table games and bingo, add four meeting rooms while its Shawanoe Restaurant is to be expanded with seating for up to 100 more diners.
“I can’t express the anticipation of getting it up and getting it occupied,” Larry Kropp, a member of the Business Committee for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe Of Oklahoma, told the newspaper. “I’m just excited. In a six-month period last year we turned away over 6,800 people wanting rooms and right now it can be a month out to book a room for the weekend.”
Wallace told the newspaper that the Eastern Shawnee Tribe Of Oklahoma started its first bingo hall in 1984 with the coming expansion speaking to the tribe’s success in gaming and other ventures such as events held at its Bordertown Casino And Arena in West Seneca.
“It was important to us to keep our name and to let people know that we were a tribe that would stand behind our word and we would do what was ethical,” Wallace told the newspaper.