The Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort in Kings Mountain, Cleveland County will open on July 1 a pre-launch 500-slot facility that will be made of trailers, as work continues on the larger project, reports FOX 46. Hundreds have already been hired for the opening of the temporary casino site.
Chief of the Catawba Indian Nation Bill Harris said: “Plan for success and build with success. You don’t just build it and they will come.”
The casino will be located just off Interstate 85 and Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain, and although the project is nowhere near done, for Harris, who has been working on this project for years, it’s a dream that is getting closer to reality. “We got held up by DC in some of their review processes,” said Harris of the delays, and the need for changes.
The main delay has been getting approval for the casino project itself. Once parts of the project were approved, however, groundbreaking and work started.
Harris, however, noted a delay with federal officials in getting approvals for a larger site, which led the tribe to go back to the drawing board temporarily and get approval for the smaller temporary site, that will be opening next month.
Harris said things are starting to look up in getting approvals for a larger, more permanent facility on-site, and noted the growing support for the project.
The current casino site is made up of construction equipment, with a parking lot and a series of trailers. However, Harris said within the next two to three years, the area will likely look very different. Renderings of what the site could look like feature a casino, hotel as well as a resort and parking deck.
However, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians filed an appeal to a federal court to reverse the ruling allowing the Catawba project to move forward.
The Cherokee Indians operate two casinos in the mountains and have previously called the site for the Catawba casino a “land grab”, noting that Catawba Indian Nation is known as a South Carolina tribe.
Harris disputes the claims from the Cherokee, noting the tribe’s contribution to the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War.
He also cited a more contemporary federal agreement, which allows the Catawba tribe to claim land within a certain radius of their known settlement.
Harris said the Kings Mountain project could have a long-term effect on getting South Carolina to approve gaming. “What the legislators will see is ‘this is not what we thought it would be, we thought it was going to be video poker, magnified’,” said Harris.