Rising water from the Arkansas River has caused a significant amount of flooding at the River Spirit Casino Resort and as a result, the property at 8330 Riverside Pkwy in Tulsa, Oklahoma will remain shuttered until at least June 5.
The flooding situation has reportedly affected the resort’s pool bar, having completely engulfed the pool and has made its way into the tiki bar and resort spa building, and is to be reassessed on Wednesday when it will be determined whether or not the closure will need to be further extended.
Closed for a week:
Owned and operated by the federally recognized Muscogee (Creek) Nation, River Spirit Casino Resort has been shuttered since May 22 due to record-breaking flooding that is hammering communities along the Arkansas River. The pedestrian trail alongside the Tulsa resort has been closed indefinitely.
According to Tulsa World, in a Monday press release, Chief Executive officer for River Spirit, Pat Croft, said…
“Like everyone in Tulsa, our decisions are dependent on the information we receive, and it continues to change day-to-day,” River Spirit CEO Pat Crofts said in a press release Monday. “We need to learn the impact of the anticipated storms on Tuesday in Oklahoma and Central Kansas prior to sharing an estimated re-opening date.”
On Monday, water from the Arkansas River began to seep onto the pool deck area of the casino resort. Throughout the day, the water continued to rise as additional water from the Keystone Dam west of Sand Springs was released. Earlier, portions of the venue’s south parking lot and its lower level had already flooded.
Some 13 feet higher than the property’s pool deck, the main parts of the hotel, casino and Ruth’s Chris and Margaritaville restaurants are reportedly not in any danger of flooding, according to officials.
Crofts said, “As designed, the water levels have not entered the interior of the primary floors.”
A major employer in the area, the resort employs 1,600 workers and has a bi-weekly payroll of some$2.5 million. According to the report citing a press release, River Spirit’s employees will continue to be paid during the shut-down.
“All facilities on the property remain structurally sound and, as designed, are withstanding the current level of release of 275,000 cubic feet per second from the Keystone Dam,” said Crofts. “We accounted for the possibility of a 100-year-flood and beyond.”
The Oklahoma casino resort has had its share of troubles. In June 2017, a bomb threat made against the casino floor resulted in the hotel and casino being completely evacuated. A repeat evacuation due to another bomb threat also took place early in October 2011.
A total of nine casinos are owned by the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, with the largest being the Tulsa casino resort, which celebrated the grand opening of its new 27 story 483-room hotel on January 1, 2017. In addition to the 27-floor all-glass hotel tower, the property includes 200,000 square feet of gaming featuring 3,100 electronic games, approximately 31 table games and a 10-table poker room.
Other property amenities include several dining and entertainment venues including, the 5,000 square-foot “It’s Five O’Clock Somewhere” bar, which is the largest of all the Margaritaville resorts, and a 30,000 square foot convention and meeting center.