The Osage Nation has started construction on two Tulsa, Oklahoma, casino projects, one in Bartlesville and one in Pawhuska, with both relocating existing licences operated by the tribe in Osage County.
Construction of both properties will need an investment of $90m from the tribe. The aim is to open them to the public in the autumn of 2022, bringing hotels, pools, spas, fitness areas and meeting space, which are not present in the current Bartlesville and Pawhuska casinos, to the mix.
Byron Bighorse, Osage Casinos CEO, said: “We received approval for both applications last summer and immediately got to work on adjusting the scope of the properties to accommodate today’s construction costs. Demand in both markets continues to rise, and I am proud that we worked together as an enterprise to see this come to fruition. The new locations will improve ease of access for our customers. We have a beautiful property in Bartlesville right now; however, it’s very limited on the ease of access.”
“My number one priority is revenue generation for the Osage Nation,” he said. “I’m looking to grow this organization to enhance those revenue streams. We believe that building these properties in more easily accessible locations. There are significant increases in revenues the Osage Nation will realise once we open them up.”
The new Bartlesville casino will have 500 slot machines, an increase from the current 440 slot machines. It will also offer 101 hotel rooms and 10,560 square feet of meeting space.
Visit Bartlesville Executive Director Maria Gus said: “The addition of the hotel results in longer stays and more days in the area where they’re spending money, getting fuel, going out to eat, going shopping. This truly just helps grow the impact of our regional destination. I hope what it does is help our hotels to work harder too to get more visitors to the area.”
The new Pawhuska casino will boast a 47-room hotel and 7,800 square feet of meeting space, along with 250 slot machines, an increase from the current casino’s 170 machines.