Derrick James, McAlester News-Capital, Okla.
August 5, 2021
Aug. 5—DURANT — The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma is raising the stakes this week with the grand opening of the expansion of the casino and resort in Durant.
Tribal officials said the $600-million project is expected to bring 1,000 new and permanent jobs to southern Oklahoma. Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton told a small crowd of employees and other guests during a Thursday ceremony that revenues from the casino will benefit tribal members.
“The money that is spent here will help this year build 250 new homes and help send another 3,000 kids to college,” Batton said.
The new 21-story Sky Tower and expansion project was first announced in November 2018 with groundbreaking occurring in April 2019 with the “topping out” of the building occurring in May 2020.
According to the tribe, the goal was to elevate the overall guest experience to meet the demands of “a growing customer base from north Texas and beyond” and to offer a resort-style experience to make guests feel like “they are truly on vacation.”
Amenities in the new expansion include 1,000 new hotel rooms, eleven bars, six restaurants, two Starbucks, 3,300 slot machines, and a parking structure that holds 3,200 vehicles.
Family friendly entertainment includes bowling and two movie theatres.
The new expansion also boasts two new pool areas that span three acres that is expected to open soon.
Adding the existing casino and hotel towers makes the Durant location “one of the largest gaming resorts in the United States,” according to the tribe.
Heidi Grant, executive officer of gaming and hospitality, said the new expansion provides a modern entertainment destination for all.
“Every detail is intentional,” Grant said. “From the world-class collection of Choctaw art that lines the walls, walkways, and even the ceilings, to modern, luxury hotel rooms and bright and airy spaces throughout the property.”
Grand opening activities are being held all weekend and include cash giveaways, live entertainment, photo opportunities, and a concert by Grammy Award winning artists Dan + Shay.
“The Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant is an elevated casino experience that’s close to home,” Grant said.
TynanGroup is the Developer and Project Manager on the Choctaw Casino & Resort Expansion Project