Casino seen as big boost to Durant's economy
DURANT, Okla. (KTEN) — Not only does Choctaw Casino attract visitors from Texas, Oklahoma and other parts of the country... it also brings people in to shop and dine in downtown Durant.
"We just really love them advertising that Durant exists," said Durant Area Chamber of Commerce executive director Janet Reed.
The number of people who work at and visit the casino is a great advantage for the City of Durant.
"What a privilege to have that many people that are in your city on a daily basis," Reed said. "Some of those people are going to shop; they're going to buy fuel, they're going to eat. So all of those things are going to help generate a sales tax revenue for us."
And those visitors also utilize local businesses and hotels.
"Pit Bull was here, I believe, on Thursday or Friday evening, and our hotels were filled," Reed said. "Most of the time the casino is booked when they have those major acts. That helps the tourism tax to be generated from our local hotels."
And Shawna DeWald at Lost Street Brewing Company in Durant reports an increase in customers due, in part, to these casino visitors.
"We see them coming up before their events, and they don't know what to do," she said. "So we are very blessed they come downtown and decide to spend money, or walk around and see the views."
The massive casino complex helps to put the City of Durant and its local shops on the map.
"A lot of people don't know where Durant is, and it's kind of not known for much," Reed said. "But with Choctaw, it's brought in a lot of attention, and just brought it to people's eyes."