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HomeGovernmentBusinessBartlesville, Pawhuska Osage Casino & Hotels anticipate opening by December 2022

Bartlesville, Pawhuska Osage Casino & Hotels anticipate opening by December 2022

Osage Casinos CEO Byron Bighorse said the Pawhuska casino and hotel could open in October or November since the property is smaller than Bartlesville and progress has moved faster on that project.

Opening dates for the new Osage Casino & Hotel properties in Pawhuska and Bartlesville are scheduled by Dec. 31, 2022, according to casino management.

Osage Casinos CEO Byron Bighorse met with the ON Congressional Commerce, Gaming and Land Committee on Feb. 14 and announced the anticipated opening dates for the new gaming and hotel properties. Casino, ON officials, broke ground at both property sites in back-to-back ceremonies on June 15, 2021, with community members also attending.

“Bartlesville and Pawhuska are moving along very nicely, we anticipate having both properties at this point open by December – Pawhuska likely a little earlier than Bartlesville with the timing of it right now,” Bighorse told the committee. “That is all subject to change with weather and other delays that are unforeseen, but they’re moving along nicely.”

Construction continues on the Bartlesville location of a new Osage Casinos & Hotel on March 10, 2022. CODY HAMMER/Osage News

In response to a question by Congresswoman Brandy Lemon on the progress, Bighorse said the projects are 25-30% complete with the foundations built and noted the Bartlesville property will have a lower basement level like the new Tulsa casino and hotel. Construction crews started putting up steel beams at both sites by March 1.

Bighorse said the Pawhuska casino and hotel could open in October or November since the property is smaller than Bartlesville and progress has moved faster on that project. Bighorse cited the supply chain situation as reason the Pawhuska project is now moving faster than the Bartlesville project.

Second Congressional Speaker Jodie Revard asked if the project costs are still in line with approved numbers to complete the Pawhuska and Bartlesville properties. Bighorse said yes, “we are within those numbers right now.”

In November 2021, Bighorse attended the virtual United Osages of Southern California gathering and told attendees $90 million is being invested in the Pawhuska and Bartlesville Osage Casino Hotel projects. Plans for the Pawhuska casino and hotel includes 47 guest rooms total, meeting/ banquet space, on-site food/ drink venue and a gaming floor for 250 electronic games, Bighorse said at the time. Plans for the Bartlesville casino hotel include 86 guest rooms and 15 suites, meeting/ banquet space, three dining venues and a 500-electronic machine gaming floor.

In other casino project updates, Bighorse said he and other management staff planned to visit the Lake of the Ozarks site in Missouri that week where plans are underway to move toward building an Osage Casino & Hotel property. The project is contingent on various factors, including placing the Nation-owned land into federal trust status for gaming purposes, negotiating a gaming compact with the state of Missouri, as well as tearing down a vacant building on the property.

Bighorse said his team planned to meet potential bidding companies at the site for building demolition to complete environmental assessments as part of the land-into-trust application process.

“We anticipate submitting the application for trust for the (Lake of the Ozarks land purchased by the Nation) by July to the Department of the Interior,” Bighorse said.

Construction continues on the Bartlesville location of a new Osage Casinos & Hotel on March 10, 2022. CODY HAMMER/Osage News
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Benny Polaccahttps://osagenews.org
Benny Polacca started at the Osage News in 2009 as a reporter and has covered various stories and events impacting the Osage Nation and Osage people. Polacca is part of the News team awarded the Native American Journalist Association’s Elias Boudinot Free Press Award in 2014 and other NAJA Media Awards and SPJ Oklahoma Pro Chapter awards for news coverage and photography. Polacca is an Arizona State University graduate and participated in the former American Indian Journalism Institute at the University of South Dakota. He previously worked at The Forum newspaper covering the Fargo, N.D. region as the weeknight reporter.
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