The Osage Nation has been working on two new casino projects in Oklahoma, one in Pawhuska and the other located in Bartlesville. Both were set to open in the fall of this year but have now been delayed due to supply chain problems involving materials needed for construction. Now, players will have to wait until 2023 to enjoy the new facilities.
Details of the Delay
Each of the casinos began construction in June 2021. At the time, the tribe expected the casinos to be ready for service by fall 2022. The supply chain issues were not expected, so it threw a wrench in the plans.
Now, the Bartlesville casino should open first on October 27, 2023, the Pawhuska casino will open a few weeks later on November 10. In a press release, the chief executive officer of Osage Casinos, Byron Bighorse, commented that the casinos are highly anticipated, but the supply chain problem causing the construction delay was unavoidable.
The Osage Nation casinos are relocating and expanding existing facilities, with each set to offer hotels, swimming pools and spas, meeting space, and fitness areas. These options will be brand-new to the properties. The Bartlesville location will be just over 57,000 square feet and offer 500 slot games. This is a bit larger than the current location.
The property will offer 250 electronic games and a 47-room hotel for the Pawhuska casino. The casino will also be home to just over 3,600 square feet of a small meeting space.
Agreements With the Tribes
Earlier this year, the city council in Bartlesville agreed to provide the utility service for the facility and improve the utility infrastructure in areas nearby. The area also needs an upgrade to its wastewater connection system.
The Osage Nation and the city agreed that they would split the cost of upgrading the system. The city will pay around $870,000, while the tribe will pay $1 million. The agreement requires the tribe to do the work to design upgrades to the specifications set by the city and state. The city has 10 years to complete the work.
The agreement also states that the tribe must pay the city 5% of the revenue it earns from hotel stays. This should be around $9,000 to $12,000 a month, depending on guest traffic and the time of year.
Hopefully, the current plans will stay on track as construction materials are delivered in a timely manner. The extended opening date gives the Osage Nation plenty of time to continue with the two projects.