New casino opens on shores of Lake Texoma
KINGSTON, Okla. (KTEN) — The grand opening of West Bay Casino and Resort seeks to capitalize on the draw of Lake Texoma and to help the economy in south central Oklahoma.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday afternoon opened the doors for business at the new casino, a project that was started in 2016 between the State of Oklahoma and the Chickasaw Nation.
Hours later, opening day was interrupted by a report of smoke in a portion of the building.
The resort was built on the site of the former Texoma State Lodge, which was demolished in 2009.
As for economic impact, the resort employs 170 people and is projected to bring in almost $58 million in its first year, according to a study done by the Chickasaw Nation.
"We wanted to create something that would honor the past, something that would be a destination for tourists today, as well as an economic driver for this region," said Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby.
The Casino and Resort occupies 61 acres near Catfish Bay Marina, with ten cabins, looking to help draw in six million tourists that Lake Texoma already receives each year, according to Chickasaw Nation Secretary of Commerce Dan Boren.
In that process, towns and cities could be on the receiving end of economic growth.
"With all the people and the foot traffic coming in over here, it's right next to Kingston," Oklahoma House District 21 representative Cody Maynard said. "That's going to mean more people eating out at local businesses. More food, restaurants and even shopping in the area. I really do hope that we can keep this progress going."
The Chickasaw Nation projects a 168 million dollar economic impact for the region in the next five years.