On Monday at 1pm, the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma will host an official topping off ceremony for its most recent business endeavor in Delaware County near the Highway 59 and East 250 Road intersection.

The tribe broke ground on Cherokee Casino Grove, its 10th gaming venue, on March 28 and since then, according to project officials it’s been full steam ahead. Those expected to take part in the ceremony in addition to Chief Bill John Baker, include Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO, Shawn Slaton, Cherokee Nation Tribal Counselors members, and Marty Follis, the mayor of Grove.

The casino project, which is located on former undeveloped pasture land northwest of Grove, Oklahoma was acquired by the Kansas Limited Liability Company, Arrowhead Group, LLC for $350,000 from Richard Ellis with Lake Country Custom Homes, Inc., on August 22, 2013. The day after that transaction, the property’s title was purchased from Arrowhead Group, LLC. for $450,000, as indicated by records, by Cherokee Nation Entertainment LLC.

Slaton told Grand Lakes News, “We’re outpacing construction [goals],” and, “We’re a week ahead of construction schedule because we’re moving quickly on it.” He said that after Monday’s ceremony, some exterior walls may go up and some work on the interior is expected to begin. He said that barring weather delays, they expect to remain ahead of schedule and if that happens, the tribe’s goal of opening the casino towards the end of this year or early 2017 will be met.

The $23 million facility will be reminiscent of a rustic lodge and will be located on north Highway 59, in what is commonly referred to as Tom Cat Corner. In addition to 400 electronic machines, the 39,000 square foot facility will include a live music venue, full-service bar, event space, and a space for dancing. The casino is expected to employ upwards of 175 individuals.

Cherokee Casino Grove is the tribe’s second casino in Delaware County. The first, Cherokee Casino & Hotel West Siloam Springs, opened in 1994 in West Siloam Springs and employees more than 700 people. Cherokee Casinos are also operated by the tribe in six other communities, as well as Will Rogers Downs, a horse gaming facility in Claremore, and the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa in Catoosa.

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