The Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, Oklahoma is getting a major facelift. The venue, which is owned and operated by the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma, started a major expansion plan last Thursday that will ultimately see over 1,000 new hotel rooms and additional amenities when the upgrade is complete by the second quarter of 2021. The project is expected to cost the tribe around $500 million by the time everything is finished.
The tribe first announced the expansion last fall, an upgrade to a resort that first opened its doors in 2006. It was then called the Choctaw Casino and only offered a casino that measured 100,000 square feet. Four years later, the Choctaw added a 12-story hotel tower, dubbed the Grand Tower, as part of the continued growth of the project.
Seven years ago, the Choctaw Nation renovated and reopened the Choctaw Inn and the Choctaw Lodge in Durant, as well. In 2015, the tribe expanded its offerings in the city, adding a new hotel tower and spa, the Grand Theater and a family entertainment center called The District.
The new expansion project at the Choctaw Casino & Resort will be the fourth major project the venue has seen. Construction is being led by a subsidiary of the Tutor Perini general contracting firm and will see the resort ultimately be able to offer 1,600 hotel rooms, an expanded casino floor, new pools, more retail, dining and entertainment options and a new parking garage.
According to previous comments by the chief of Choctaw Nation, Gary Batton, the property is going to be the “starting point for many wonderful things” for the people and that the tribe is grateful that it can continue to grow with the community “and improve the lives of [their] tribal and community members.”
When the expansion is complete, the venue will be able to put 1,000 more residents to work. Currently, the resort employs almost 2,800 people. Durant City Manager Tim Rundel explains, “We know a thousand more jobs is going to make a very positive impact to our community. We like to say, ‘We live by sales tax,’ so this is going to be a good thing for us.”