Includes 25,000-square-foot gaming floor

North Carolina: $275M Harrah's Cherokee Valley River Casino expansion on track to open next year

Rendering of Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel expansion project.
Reading time 1:44 min

The Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel in North Carolina is currently undergoing a $275 million expansion project, expected to be completed by late 2024. Although the resort opened in Murphy in 2015, a casino expansion has been underway for the past year.

The multi-million investment includes a 25,000-square-foot gaming floor expansion, seeking to add 300 slot machines, 8 additional table games, a 10-table World Series of Poker (WSOP) branded room, and a 22-seat bar with 14 tabletop gaming units.

The project will also see the property nearly double the number of hotel rooms available, with 296 additional guestrooms, through a new hotel tower that will also include an indoor pool and fitness center. 

The new hotel tower will also feature a 9,600-square-foot full-service spa and salon, a newly expanded hotel porte-cochere, a new hotel lobby with upgraded hotel registration, and a rooftop restaurant complete with indoor and outdoor seating, mountain views, and a 25-seat bar and wine cellar.

Additionally, the expansion calls for 1,700 additional parking spaces and six electric charging stations. The parking deck is scheduled to open in the summer of 2024, closely following the opening of the gaming floor addition.

The expansion project will employ over 900 construction workers and create an estimated 100 permanent casino, hotel, and food and beverage jobs with starting wages at $15/hour for hourly positions. The expansion is estimated to contribute $35 million to the local economy upon completion.

The growth project is taking on greater importance with the increased casino competition in the area. The expansion comes as new casinos are coming online in the region, including the Catawba Two Kings Mountain Casino near Charlotte and the Hard Rock operation in Bristol, Virginia.

"It's imperative that we just continue to grow and get this project finished so that when that competition finishes theirs in late '24, '25, or '26, whenever that timeframe is for their completion dates, we have ours finished," Harrah's Cherokee Valley River General Manager Lumpy Lambert said, as per WLOS. "And our guests that are at the Knoxville market, or the Atlanta market, or the Chattanooga market, or even that Charlotte market will still be able to come back and visit us."

The project marks the second expansion phase for the resort, which first opened in 2015. The first was completed in 2017 and saw the addition of 41,000 square feet of non-gaming entertainment, through new amenities such as a sports bar, a bowling alley, and an arcade. However, that expansion was much cheaper and smaller in scale, with a cost of $13 million.

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