River Spirit Casino Ready To Open

Monday, March 30th 2009, 5:18 pm
By: News On 6

By Jeffrey Smith, The News On 6

TULSA, OK -- The Creek Nation Casino closes on Monday night.  On Tuesday morning, the River Spirit Casino will take its place, at 83rd and Riverside.

The old Creek Nation Casino is about two football fields away.  In a nutshell, the River Spirit Casino is prettier and fancier.  The gaming floor is almost four times the size of the old casino.

02/04/2009  Related Story:  Casino Gets Loan For New Facility

"If you were to walk from one end of the casino floor to the other, it would probably take you a good 10 minutes," said Jenny Cross with River Spirit Casino.

It boasts five separate dining facilities from fancy steakhouses to casual buffets.

Despite the name change, the Muskogee Creek Nation is still in charge.

Managers say the sheer size of the River Spirit makes it a must-see.  It's the second biggest casino in the state.

"We are very excited, and when I mean we, I mean the 1,300 employees here at River Spirit Casino," said Jenny Cross with River Spirit Casino.

When the new River Spirit Casino opens up on Tuesday morning, the 300,000 square foot gaming floor will feature 2,700 electronic games. That's almost twice as many as the current facility at the Creek Nation Casino.

"It's not about how many machines you have, it's about customer service delivery," said Cherokee Nation Casino CEO David Stewart.

But 20-minutes away, the Cherokee Nation Casino is going through a name change of its own.  In two months, they'll become the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.  They're wrapping up construction on the hotel part, totaling 350 rooms.

"I really think it gets down to the unique experience, and we've tried to differentiate ourselves through Hard Rock, and you know, more exciting place to go, more amenities, the whole resort idea that we have, is very valuable to our customers," said Cherokee Nation Casino CEO David Stewart.

"We have the best location of any casino in the state," said Jenny Cross with River Spirit Casino.

So the competition is heating up before the doors even open.   Both casinos say it's the customers who benefit.

The old Creek Nation Casino building in the short-term will be used for office space and storage.

River Spirit opens to the public at 10 o'clock Tuesday morning.