The Osage Nation has broken ground on two new casino and hotel complexes in the Oklahoma communities of Bartlesville and Pawhuska, marking the end of an almost eight-year journey, according to the tribe.
The Osage Nation applied to the US Interior Department in 2014 to put the Bartlesville land into a government trust for use in gambling, with Pawhuska following two years later.
The tribe thanked its partners in a social media message and stated that construction will begin in the second half of next year: “Osage Casinos broke ground on two new properties today in Bartlesville and Pawhuska.
“These projects have been in the works for almost eight years and we are grateful to our partners who worked collectively to make this a reality. Expected completion is in the Fall of 2022, but visit our existing locations in the meantime.”
Move and enlarge the gaming businesses
The new venues are designed to move and enlarge the tribe’s current gaming businesses, according to local media reports. Originally, both facilities were planned to be larger, but due to construction expenses, the scope of the projects was restricted.
The Pawhuska casino will be built on a 60-acre site and will feature 250 electronic games, 3,675 square feet of meeting space, a 47-room hotel, a pool and hot tub area, and a fitness facility.
The later Bartlesville location will be built on 125 acres, with 500 electronic games, 10,560 square feet of conference space, full service catering, 86 hotel rooms and 15 suites, a pool and hot tub area, patio, and fitness centre, according to the tribe.
Byron Bighorse, CEO of Osage Casinos said: “We received approval for both applications last summer and immediately got to work on adjusting the scope of the properties to accommodate today’s construction costs.
“Demand in both markets continues to rise, and I am proud that we worked together as an enterprise to see this come to fruition.”