Tribal Organization: Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma
Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas
Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas is a proposed project to build casino and hotel in Fussellville, Polk County. Arkansas.
Cherokee Nation Business of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has partnered with Legends, a hospitality and stadium-mangement company founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, to build a casino hotel complex in Pope County named Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas.
The Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas will be built on 135 acres north of Interstate 40 on Nob Hill Road. The western boundry is Weir Road and the eastern boundry isAlaskan Trail.
CASINO - 50,000-sq-ft gaming floor with 1,200 slots, 21 table games and sportsbook
HOTEL - 200 luxury guest rooms and suites with pool, spa and fitness room
CONFERENCE CENTER - 15,000-sq-ft multipurpose space for meetings, entertainment and special functions
CONCERT VENUE - outdoor music and entertainment venue
WATERPARK - outdoor waterpark
RV PARK - RV and dog park with 100 RV spaces
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$225 million construction cost
50,000-square-foot gaming floor
1,200 slot machines
32 table games
Grab & go
High-end sports bar
Outdoor music venue for concerts and live entertainment
Outdoor family water park
200 luxury rooms
Spa and fitness center
Hotel and pool rendering of Legends Resort and Casino Arkansas
15,000 square feet for entertainment, meetings and conferences with 1,000 person capacity.
RV and dog park with 100 RV spaces
February 21, 2020
This week Cherokee Nation Businesses released a study on the potential economic impact on Pope County and Northwest Arkansas by the tribe's proposed Legends Resort and Casino Arkansas in Russellville, AR.
The study by the Economic Impact Group (EIG) predicts the economic impact on that area will be $3.15 billion over 10 years.
ECONOMIC IMPACT FINDINGS OVER FIRST 10 YEARS
Direct employment of 1000 jobs
Jobs Supported 1750+ - 21000+ jobs
Employee Income $43.3 - $530 MM
Vendor Purchases from businesses $22.4 - $296 MM
$2 - $18.9 MM to Pope County Community Development Grant
$4.3 - $52.3 MM Taxes paid to Pope County
$100 - $945 K to Russellville Economic Development Alliance
Source: Legends Resort & Casino
In a news release, Chuck Garrett, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses, said: "In forming our plans for Legends Resort & Casino, we turned to a network of experts to help us understand how this project would impact the region's economy. It was fitting for us to engage this research through Dr. Russell Evans and EIG who are already very familiar with current CNB (Cherokee Nation Businesses) operations."
November 23, 2019
The Choctaw Nation submitted an application with the Arkansas Racing Commission for a license to build a commercial casino in Pope County. The submission was just hours before the 4:30PM final deadline for all applications, and three days after the Cherokee Nation amended its application
Pope County officials have endorsed the Cherokee Nation application. Under Arkansas Amendment 100, all applications for a new casino must include an endorsement of support from county officials.
The Choctaw application did not include documentation of local support. When asked why, Janie Dillard, a senior executive officer for the Choctaw Nation, replied in a written statement:
"The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has consistently advocated for a fair, open and transparent process. We hope that the state will take action to allow all proposals to receive fair consideration."
An additional explanation with more information should be expected soon.
UPDATE Nov. 21, 2019
The Russellville City Council approved a resolution endorsing the casino proposal submitted by Cherokee Nation Businesses.
October 11, 2019
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is partnering with Legends, a hospitality company founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, has proposed building a $225 million casino named Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas in Russellville, Arkansas.
Last August the Legends proposal was selected by a local judge and quorum court over four other casino candidates for licensing by the Arkansas Racing Commission.
Last week the Russellville City Council announced it had received four casino applications prior to its deadline. The Council said it has rejected the Legends casino proposal on the basis of an incomplete application. The office of Mayor Richard Harris explained that a consent and release form required in the application was not signed.
Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Chuck Garrett responded with a different perspective. He said they have not actually applied for review by city officials and the Community Gaming Evaluation Committee. Rather, the company delivered a project overview to county and city officials, including the Russellville City Council, in an effort to "keep the community and elected officials informed."
August 11, 2019
The Cherokee Nation's casino application to build a casino in Russellville has been selected by a local judge and quorum court over four other candidates for Pope County's sole casino endorsement submitted to the Arkansas Racing Commission.
Cherokee Nation Businesses, the casino management company of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is partnering with Legends, a hospitality company founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.
The letter of support was issued by Pope County Judge Ben Cross and the local Quorum Court. It is required at the time a casino license application is submitted to the Arkansas Racing Commission.
Five applications were previously submitted to the Arkansas Racing Commission for the sole casino license to be issued in Pope County. All five were rejected by for lacking a letter of support from local officials. The deadline was extended for applicants to work with the Pope County judge and the Quorum Court for endorsement.
The four casino proposals that were passed came from the Choctaw Nation, Gulfside Casino Partners, Hard Rock International & Warner Gaming partnership, and Robert and Ruth Kehl.
Hard Rock's reaction to losing the endorsement was stated in a letter released immediately afterwards:
"Remarkably, we were asked if we could submit our final offer after we were informed that a different operator will be selected. This clearly is not what we expected when we started this process."
"We have continually asked for a fair, open and transparent process and all of the applicants who have spent a significant amount of time and money deserve this, More importantly, the public deserves this."
The Cherokee Nation owns nine casinos in Oklahoma:
Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson
Cherokee Casino Grove
Cherokee Casino Roland
Cherokee Casino Sallisaw
Cherokee Casino South Coffeyville
Cherokee Casino Tahlequah
Cherokee Casino Ramona
Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs
Hard Rock Casino Tulsa
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