Choctaw Casino breaks ground on expansion - KTEN.com - Texoma news, weather and sports

Choctaw Casino breaks ground on expansion

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An artist's rendering of the Choctaw Casino Durant expansion. (Courtesy) An artist's rendering of the Choctaw Casino Durant expansion. (Courtesy)
An artist's rendering of the interior of the expanded Chocaw Casino and Resort. (Courtesy) An artist's rendering of the interior of the expanded Chocaw Casino and Resort. (Courtesy)
An artist's rendering of the gaming floor of the expanded Chocaw Casino and Resort. (Courtesy) An artist's rendering of the gaming floor of the expanded Chocaw Casino and Resort. (Courtesy)

DURANT, Okla. -- The Choctaw Nation broke ground Thursday on a half-billion dollar expansion project at its showcase casino and resort in Durant.

"Let me tell you: This is a monumental day for the Choctaw Nation," said Janie Dillard, senior executive officer of the tribe's commerce division.

A new high-rise hotel will include VIP suites and bring the total to more than 1,600 rooms. There will also be a movie theater, laser tag and arcade, an oasis bar and grill, and an event center.

Plus, of course, more room for gaming.

When complete in about two years, it will lay claim to being Oklahoma's largest resort.

"Never knew it was going to be at this level, but we did know there was a huge market demand," Choctaw Nation Chief Gary Batton said. "Once we tapped into that demand, and it's been able to grow, so we are still at the foundation really of where we can be."

Tribal leaders said the casino expansion -- the fourth since it opened in 2006 -- will create 1,000 new jobs.

"We are going to offer those opportunities to our tribal members and to the community as a whole, so it's about the rising tide rises all ships," Batton said.

"We know a thousand more jobs is going to make a very positive impact to our community," added Durant City Manager Tim Rundel. "We like to say, 'We live by sales tax,' so this is going to be a good thing for us."

Chief Batton said he sees even more growth at the casino in future years.

"I've been here since all of our expansions in 1987, and this is a very emotional day for me," Dillard said.

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