There’s a new landmark in the sightline of the Choctaw Casino & Resort near the Texas-Oklahoma border. A brand-new 21-store building stands out from the rest of the Choctaw Nation property. The latest addition to one of the most popular casino establishments in this part of the country, Sky Tower, is set to open on August 6.
The construction of the $600 million expansion began in 2019. The 300,000-square-foot tower and the surrounding area will offer guests top-notch accommodation, numerous amenities, and an exceptional gambling experience. The expansion includes 1,000 rooms, 6 restaurants, 11 bars, and 2 swimming pools. The gaming space will provide visitors 40 new poker tables and more than 3,300 slot machines. Choctaw Casino now features 136 poker tables and 7,200 slot machines. In addition, the expansion will secure 1,200 new jobs for people in the area.
Despite its Oklahoma location, Choctaw Casino and Resort see the largest portion of their visitors come from North Texas. It’s estimated that two-thirds of all customers residing in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Overall, the Texans account for 80% of the visitors. Choctaw Nation hopes that the new location will attract even more people from Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The South Oklahoma gambling offer also includes Winstar World Casino and Resort operated by the Chickasaw Nation. The two casinos are competitors but also provide a complimentary offer for all customers in this part of the US.
The casino industry had a difficult last year due to the pandemic. According to Casey Clark from American Gaming Association, 989 casinos were forced to halt their operations early last year. The gaming revenue dropped by 30% compared to the previous period. In fiscal 2020, contributions tribes pay to the state of Oklahoma dropped by 16.6%. It was the first time these contributions declined since 2014. Over 2 million people employed in tribal casinos felt the adverse impact the pandemic had on the gaming business.
Covid-19 pandemic brought the entertainment events to an almost full stop. However, things are getting back to normal. The live entertainment will return to Choctaw Casino in August. The lineup will include some of the biggest country stars. Visitors can already look forward to performances of Miranda Lambert, Darius Rucker, and Dan and Shay.
Wendy Carter, Choctaw’s assistant general manager, noted that the growing customer demand was the main reason for the new investment. Before the pandemic, the casino faced increasing occupancy rates and interest in gambling. With vaccination numbers rising, the demand is also back on the rise. The expansion will also provide Chocktaw with more space to host conferences and weddings. It’s something that the facility was lacking before the pandemic. With more than 1,000 new rooms, Choctaw hopes that it will be able to attract more of this kind of clientele in the future.
In the coming months, Choctaw’s primary focus will be winning back its customers. The casino and resort have undertaken excessive measures to provide a safe stay. One of the ways to do this is through the increased vaccination rate. The casino is providing vaccination to all staff and their families. Guest can also get vaccinated at the Choctaw’s premises.