After being closed from flooding for nearly a month, part of the River Spirit Casino and Resort is back open.
The casino was forced to close after about a foot and a half of water flooded the lower level. That includes the pool, spa, and fitness center.
The two casinos, theater, hotel, conference center, and restaurants are all back open after a deep clean.
The pool should be back by mid-July, and the other downstairs amenities are still under construction for the next few months. News On 6 was told thousands of guests have already been through since Thursday night's soft opening.
“It's been very hectic, we've got three remediation companies on site, upwards of four to five hundred people working around the clock, doing the cleanup and remediation," said CEO of Muscogee Creek Nation Casinos Pat Crofts.
On its first day back Friday, it was already a packed house.
“We’re gonna have him lose most of his money," Ben Gray said.
It’s been a month of patient waiting for Ben Gray and brother Scott Whitehead, two regulars at River Spirit.
Friday was an extra special occasion.
“Today is his birthday," Gray said about Whitehead. "He turns 27 today, and he got a special treat from the casino."
The casino was forced to close down a month ago after about a foot and a half of water seeped into the lower level.
“Unfortunately, the Spa, health club, fitness center and pool are not ready to open now, because that’s where there was actual water damage," said the CEO of Muscogee Creek Nation Casinos, Pat Crofts.
Crofts said crews worked tirelessly to deep clean the whole casino and start replacing the lower level.
“It’s been very hectic," he said. "We’ve got three remediation companies on site, upwards of four to five hundred people working around the clock.”
"I was really bored," said employee Julie Adams. "I missed my job.”
Their 1,800 employees, like Julie Adams, who's works at the buffet for six years, were paid during the closure.
She said she was itching to get back.
“It's a little overwhelming. I’m happy to see everyone," she said.
Crofts doesn’t have an economic estimate of how much the flooding set back yet but said it's "significant."
Locals were just ready to get back to relaxing.
“Just come out, visit Margaritaville, spend some time, some money," Gray said.
The lower level is still closed.
Even though it's been closed since May 22nd, River Spirit continued paying its employees which cost about $5 million for the entire month.