TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation celebrated a construction milestone Monday as the final beam was placed atop the new Cherokee Casino Tahlequah at Cherokee Springs Plaza.

“When Cherokee Nation entered the gaming industry, our goal was simple: create good jobs and improve essential services for our people,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “As we celebrate the topping out of this new casino in Tahlequah, the Cherokee Nation’s capital city, that goal is still the primary objective in everything we do. Our business growth means we are creating more jobs and providing more services than ever before.  We continue to push for a better and brighter tomorrow that will benefit our people and our tribal government.”

The tribe broke ground on the 92,000-square-foot entertainment destination in March 2018 and plans to open the new casino next spring.

The new property will feature 525 electronic games, a 144-seat restaurant, a grab-and-go cafe, a live music venue, a full-service bar and complimentary nonalcoholic beverages. In addition, the new destination will offer more than 33,000 square feet of convention and meeting space, accommodating up to 1,000 people.

“We have built a reputation for excellence across the Cherokee Casino brand, and I am pleased to say this facility will further our efforts to exceed guest expectations yet again,” said Shawn Slaton, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses. “We are thankful for the support we’ve received from the city, the community and our business partners. Additionally, we’re most thankful for our employees and their dedication to quality service. It’s what our reputation is founded on and what continues to fuel our success.”  

Cherokee Casino Tahlequah plans to add about 45 jobs to support its expansion at the new location.

The current facility, located a few miles south of Tahlequah near the Cherokee Nation’s tribal complex and Sequoyah Schools, will be donated to the Cherokee Nation’s Cherokee Immersion Charter School to help expand and house the tribe’s language programs.

Cherokee Springs Plaza is the tribe’s 154-acre retail, dining and entertainment development located next to Cherokee Springs Golf Course. The plaza is currently home to the area’s first Taco Bueno, its second Sonic Drive-In location, a Buffalo Wild Wings and Stuteville Ford. The development will also welcome Newk’s Eatery and a Tru by Hilton™ in the coming months.  

Nearly 30,000 cars pass by Cherokee Springs Plaza daily, which is halfway between the Cherokee Nation’s W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex and Northeastern State University. About 3,500 people are directly employed by Cherokee Nation and its businesses in Cherokee County. More than 9,000 students are enrolled at NSU.

For more information on Cherokee Springs Plaza, including leasing opportunities, visit www.CherokeeSpringsPlaza.com.

Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the wholly owned gaming, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. The company currently operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; nine Cherokee Casinos, including a horse racing track; three hotels; three golf courses; and other retail operations.

The tribe and its businesses currently employ more than 11,000 people and have a $2.03 billion economic impact on the state of Oklahoma.

For more information about Cherokee Casino, visit www.cherokeecasino.com.