Despite the fact that supply chain disruptions still remain a major issue for the US economy, the Osage Nation has powered through in regard to the development of its new casino and hotel at Pawhuska.
The new facility is expected to bring 47 hotel rooms to a tourist destination community constantly in need of another place for overnight visitors to stay. The new property is also expected to create more jobs in the region.
Mason Shackelford, general manager for the venue, said the property will probably employ 120-130 people, nearly a hundred more than the 39 people now employed at the existing Pawhuska casino, as reported by the Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise.
Pawhuska's Osage Casino exterior - Examiner-Enterprise
Another plus for the local community would be that the new Osage Casino and Hotel is set to have banquet rooms, expanding the options for local organizations and families looking for places to hold celebrations. The new casino and hotel is expected to be completed and ready for operations before the end of 2023.
Kimberly Pearson, CEO of Osage Casinos, said that she believes Pawhuska and Osage County residents “are very excited, especially our Osage Casino employees.” She also stated the process of planning the casino and hotel and getting it built has been "lengthy," taking more than a decade.
Pawhuska's Osage Casino interior - Examiner-Enterprise
Assistant Principal Chief R.J. Walker said the hotel and casino will offer opportunities to showcase Osage language and culture, as reported by the cited media. He noted that Pawhuska is already a national tourist attraction, and expressed hope that both more gamers and more tourists will visit the city when the construction project is complete.
“It’s going to be a major benefit to the community, to the city of Pawhuska,” Walter said. The Osage Nation broke ground on the Pawhuska project and a similar one in Bartlesville in June 2021, with plans to finish up by the fall of 2022. Rising costs and supply chain problems were already an issue, but the project has not proceeded as quickly as hoped.