By Jeffrey Smith, News On 6
CATOOSA, OK -- The Hard Rock empire is coming to town. The Cherokee Nation Casino and Resort revealed on Friday they'll become part of the Hard Rock franchise.
When the new, 110,000 square foot gaming floor opens next month it'll become just the fifth casino-resort in the country to carry the Hard Rock name.
Workers are putting down the finishing touches inside the Cherokee Resort Casino.
They're pouring over every detail, but when the 19-story hotel opens up in April the biggest detail will be a 45-foot-wide Hard Rock sign.
"It's almost going to be as wide as the building, the logo, on each side," said David Stewart, Cherokee Casino & Resort CEO.
That's right. The Cherokee Star is on its way out in Catoosa.
"You'll still see all of the art work; all of those cultural treasures will be throughout the facility, but you're also going to see rock ‘n' roll," said Stewart.
The CEO says the negotiations have been going on for more than a year. There will not be a café, but once the Indian Gaming Commission gives the final ok the new hotel-casino will have the memorabilia that has made Hard Rock famous.
Stewart says the new look won't diminish the Cherokee identity.
"We still have those kinds of rich cultural, we retain those rich cultural management style. So really what we're bringing in on top of that, the entertainment experience and that hard rock experience for our customer," said Stewart.
Pam Lewellyn has been to the Hard Rock in Amsterdam. She says it'll bring people to gamble here for the name alone.
"It's well-known, and it has got a good reputation, and it's fun," said Pam Lewellyn, gambler.
The Cherokee Nation will still manage the property and it is the only casino that'll carry the Hard Rock name.
Stewart says it'll bring in people who'll spend their money for a taste of the Hard Rock experience.
The shirts will say Hard Rock Tulsa, but the hotel and casino are located in Catoosa, not Tulsa. The mayor of Catoosa tells The News On 6 she is disappointed about that, but she says she can put up with the slight if people come to her town to spend money.