The Margaritaville themed '5 O’Clock Somewhere Bar’ at River Spirit Casino opened Thursday; it's the first Margaritaville venue at the casino, and there's much more ahead.
Construction is coming along, but it’s still about a year away before the opening of the Margaritaville casino, restaurants and pools; however, you can get a taste of what's ahead by walking in the new 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar.
With some of the only palm trees in town, a backdrop of the beach and a clock that's stuck at 5:00, the bar and future Margaritaville complex is unlike anything else on the banks of the Arkansas River.
“This is great. We have been working on this for a long time, and it is finally coming around and it's fun to be here," said River Spirit Casino CEO, Pat Crofts.
Crofts has been with River Spirit Casino since the doors opened in 2009, now he's part of the next phase as Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville is built.
The building only stands a few stories tall now, but will one day be a 27-story high Luxury hotel tower.
Right next to it will be a large pool with a swim up and beach bar as well as a pool deck. There will also be a large entertainment venue that seats thousands.
“It's really two casinos under one roof. When people feel like they need to go to a new casino, they walk through a portal and the casino will be completely themed like this - with the palm trees and the tropical theme,” Crofts said.
Muskogee Creek Nation Chief, George Tiger said, "Gaming is so big here in Indian Country, and across Oklahoma, we were already outgrowing the facility we already have."
When the entire complex is open, its annual economic impact is estimated to be $135 million.
The opening of the new bar is the first step to bringing the beach-themed destination resort to life.
The casino and restaurants are expected to open in September of next year.
The hotel will take a few more months, but the goal is to have Margaritaville up and running by the end of 2016.