Grand Opening Held For Margaritaville Restaurant And Casino
TULSA, Oklahoma - It's a big day for Tulsa as Margaritaville Casino at River Spirit opened Thursday, after years of construction.
The entire city will feel the impact of the opening as the casino on Riverside Drive is expected to be a $135-million boost to the Tulsa area's economy every year.
We've all watched the construction and Thursday for the first time, we got to go inside. Hundreds of people were at the casino for the big reveal, including Muscogee Creek Nation tribal leaders, Tulsa's mayor and many more.
CEO Pat Crofts said he's been waiting for this day a long time.
"We have been working on this for probably six years now, and a lot of time, effort and planning, and it's just finally all coming together," he said.
The grand opening was filled with fun - from parrots on the floors to the bright lights, it's an experience with a view you can't get anywhere else in town.
"What's appealing is most people think of us as a land-locked place, but we have been able to put ourselves on the banks of the beautiful Arkansas River," said Margaritaville Holdings CEO, John Cohlan.
Thursday, the 50,000 square foot casino opened, along with Jimmy Buffet's two-story tall Margaritaville Restaurant and Bar.
There's a new larger parking garage with a walkway right into the casino's lobby.
Everyone agrees this $365-million project is a win-win for everyone who lives in Tulsa. I will boost the economy and is expected to create 1,000 jobs.
"This is a dream come true. We have been working on this for six years, planning and it's finally all coming together," said Crofts.
Cohlan said, “To be able to create good times, fun, and bring good jobs to people is what we are all about."
Looking ahead to 2017, Jimmy Buffet will hold a concert January 28th at the casino's 2,500-seat concert venue.
There are multiple phases of Margaritaville opening so you won't be able to enjoy it all just yet, but within the next year it will all be open.
The convention center opens in September and the hotel opens in December. Paradise Cove and Ruth's Chris Steak House are scheduled to open in January.