Business

Tulsa Osage Casino Hotel plans updated

Planning work continues on the Tulsa Osage Casino project after the Fourth Osage Nation Congress passed a resolution approving loan documents to build an expanded flagship casino.

The passed resolution (ONCR 16-27 sponsored by Congressman William “Kugee” Supernaw) authorizes and approves execution of a loan agreement, approves a limited waiver of sovereign immunity and to authorize the ON Gaming Enterprise Board to execute the documents incurring indebtedness and pledging assets. According to the resolution (passed in the 2016 Hun-Kah Session), the loan money will be used to construct a new hotel, casino and event center.

Osage Casino CEO Byron Bighorse said the project will bring an additional 500 electronic machine games in the proposed casino, which will be built on the same land where the north Tulsa casino and Osage Event Center currently sit. With the additional games, the new casino will have 1,300 total games, he said, adding the gaming area will stretch 78,000 square-feet with two levels in the proposed casino.

Other amenities include 16 table games, five poker tables, a main sports bar and a satellite bar, Bighorse said. The property will have a junior ballroom that’s about 9,000 square-feet, three breakout conference meeting rooms and a main ballroom/ event center that will stretch to 25,000 or 35,000 square-feet and could hold up to 3,500 people.

Bighorse provided a project update to the ON Gaming Commission on May 11 and noted the Event Center will be razed to accommodate the project logistics so the new casino can be built in its location. Bighorse said the casino will lose 300 machines which are located adjacent to the current Event Center when it’s razed, but plans are being made to bring in modular buildings on the east side as “a temporary fix” to make up for the lost games. 

The proposed 125-room hotel will be built behind the current casino and will stand five or six stories tall with construction on the facility to start in September or October with dirt work, Bighorse said. The updated project is a smaller size of the preliminary casino plans announced by the Gaming Enterprise Board and Bighorse in September 2015. At that time, the hotel was proposed at 132 rooms, but the downsize is needed for the project to be built within the loan amount of $175 million. Bighorse said the hotel will be built at a down-to-earth, three-star quality similar to the Hampton Inn hotelier chain.