Cherokee Nation seeks trust status for new casino and hotel resort

Artist's rendering of the Cherokee Springs Plaza in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. Image from Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation will relocate one of its casinos as part of a $170 million development in Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

The Cherokee Casino Tahlequah will be moved a few miles up the highway to the new Cherokee Springs Plaza. Besides a gaming facility, the 150-acre development will boast two hotels, 1.3 million square-feet of retail, restaurant and office space, a convention center and a new clubhouse for the Cherokee Springs Golf Course.

“This project allows us to enhance tourism and economic development for the Cherokee Nation and the city of Tahlequah,” Chief Bill John Baker said in a press release. “This development will create hundreds of new jobs for Cherokees and give us the opportunity to convert the existing casino into a bigger and better immersion school for our Cherokee youth.”

The project is expected to take five years to complete. The casino and hotel will be built during phase two of construction.

An aerial map of the property that will be developed as the Cherokee Springs Plaza. The green arrow marks the furniture store owned by Chief Bill John Baker. The golf course is in the upper right corner. Image from Google Maps

The 150-acre site is not in trust. It was purchased in December 2012 by Cherokee Nation Businesses for $8.5 million, The Tulsa World reported at the time.

The tribe plans to ask the Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the portion that will house the casino and hotel in trust, The Cherokee Phoenix reported.

Get the Story:
Cherokee Nation plans $170 million entertainment expansion (The Muskogee Phoenix 9/3)
Cherokee Nation announces $170 million Tahlequah development project (The Tulsa World 9/3)
Cherokee Nation Announces $170M Retail Development For Tahlequah (News on 6 9/2)

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