River Spirit To Reopen Friday, June 21 After Tulsa Flooding
TULSA, Oklahoma - River Spirit Casino has announced it will reopen next Friday, June 21st at 8 a.m. after being closed for three weeks due to Arkansas River flooding.
The casino, located near 81st and Riverside, decided to temporarily close its doors last month after flood waters began to rise.
"I've had people not only around the country, but around the world, that's seen this,” Muscogee Creek Nation Casinos CEO Pat Crofts said.
"Wondering if everybody was OK. Was the building OK? Are we gonna come back to work?” Table Games Floor Supervisor Patrick Brown said.
Thousands of machines are shining bright and making noise again, after they were each turned back on individually. It was a task that took three days.
Other projects like repairing the spa, salon, fitness center and the pool will take a few more weeks.
The outside pool won't reopen until mid to late July.
"We're just so grateful that we were spared the brunt of the damage,” Muscogee Creek Nation Principal Chief James Floyd said.
The Muscogee Creek Nation says they took advantage of three weeks of quiet time to do a deep cleaning throughout the casino and resort.
Related Story: WHOA: Flood Waters Threaten River Spirit Casino In Tulsa
"Change out, touch up, whatever we need to do. We're kinda just making lemonade out of lemons,” Crofts said.
All 1800 employees were paid while they weren't working, but some came in to help out anyway.
"They've been volunteering, they're coming in. It's just been a great team effort all the way around from top to bottom,” Crofts said.
Brown is grateful for his paychecks, and excited to start seeing the casino full again.
"It’s gonna be like a re-grand opening and just start smiling and have a great time for Tulsa,” Brown said.
Crofts said the building is structurally sound, and there are no air quality issues.
He said they're opening about a week earlier than originally anticipated.
"This is a great day. It's been pretty gloomy around here the last three weeks. But we've been working at it and this really is - it's just a happy day," Crofts said.
River Spirit paid its employees while it was shut down which cost about $2.5 million per pay period.