River Spirit Casino announces new river development
TULSA (KFAQ) - More details are being released about major expansion plans at Tulsa's River Spirit Casino. The casino says the project will feature a Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville Casino and Restaurant, a 22-story 500-room upscale hotel tower, a world class spa, convention and meeting center along with other new restaurants.
During a news conference, officials said the project’s size and scope is significant as it will generate approximately 800 new full-time jobs at the resort, and it will have a combined annual economic impact of $135.4 million. The annual payroll for the new jobs is estimated to be $38 million.
This project will be the largest private Arkansas River Development in Tulsa’s history, an investment to rival the BOK Center and ONEOK Field combined. In addition, the partnership with Margaritaville will offer patrons a laid back atmosphere inspired by the lyrics and lifestyle of Jimmy Buffett, featuring casual dining, a bar and live entertainment along with a retail store.
“We at River Spirit and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation are committed to providing quality jobs, and economic stability for Tulsa-area residents,” Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos CEO Pat Crofts said.
“I am happy to bring a few palm trees and frozen concoctions to the banks of the Arkansas River,” said Jimmy Buffett. “The first time I ever saw Tulsa was from the stage at Cain’s Ballroom awhile back. It is an honor to be returning as part of this great new entertainment complex in association with River Spirit and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. I look forward to getting back to Tulsa and playing there again real soon."
The 500-room luxury hotel will feature VIP suites, junior suites, parlor suites and standard rooms. There will be an outdoor and indoor swimming pool, fitness center, a world class spa and a pool deck overlooking the Arkansas River. In addition, there will be a 24-hour business center, retail stores and gift shops.
“With the addition of a luxury hotel tower and the Margaritaville brand, we are taking River Spirit Casino to a whole new level,” Crofts said. “We already have an incredible facility, but this development allows us to become a true destination resort.”
The Margaritaville Restaurant, Bar and Retail addition will provide guests with the ultimate tropical experience complete with salty margaritas, island-inspired food and lively entertainment. The bar and restaurant will also include large decks where guests may enjoy alfresco dining or a cocktail with a gentle breeze while overlooking the river.
“Our primary goal is to make sure our guests have fun and enjoy the experience,” Crofts said. “This new development will put Tulsa on the entertainment map and attract people from neighboring states.”
Approximately 45,000 square feet of new gaming space will be branded as the Margaritaville Casino, to include up to 750 electronic gaming devices and 20 table games. The area’s décor, atmosphere and gaming will reflect the Margaritaville escapism lifestyle with entry portals situated adjacent to the Margaritaville Restaurant, Bar and Retail Complex.
“I’m excited about our partnership with Margaritaville,” said Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief George Tiger. “This is a great future for both groups. Our history in Indian Gaming and the experience Margaritaville will offer those who visit will make this a premier destination resort.”
A Margaritaville-branded showroom theatre will offer theatre-style seating for up to 2,400 people, plus separate VIP suites, a lounge, bar and reception areas for a total seating of approximately 2,500.
“The construction of this exciting project alone is expected to bring a $225 million dollar economic impact during the 18-24 months of building,” said Mike Neal, Tulsa Regional Chamber president and CEO. “This impacts each of us, from the small business vendors supplying materials to the construction worker who shops at our local grocery stores and retailers.”
The development will include a special events venue offering 35,000 square feet of convention and meeting space with seating for 750 to 1,000 people. It will also offer state-of-the-art audio and video capabilities.
The Dallas-based architecture firm HKS is coordinating the project’s design. HKS is working with Margaritaville’s architect McBride Companies in the overall design. A joint venture between the local Manhattan Construction and Redstone Construction companies has been selected as the construction manager/building contract. Tulsa-based Program Management Group Native will serve as the owner’s representative.
The costs of construction are expected to be $250 million and an estimated 1,800 local construction-related jobs will be created throughout the course of the 18-24 month project. The two year construction project will support an income of $161.9 million and a total of $226.5 million in the production of goods and services throughout the Tulsa region.