View Full Version : Harrah's Casino coming to OKC?



Patrick
02-16-2005, 02:51 AM
This article was in Luke's blog entry from Sunday. Please check out Luke's blog at www.theoklahoman.blogspot.com.

"Harrah's Casino in OKC?
Tonight, a buddy and I went to the Kickapoo Casino in, ironically, Harrah, Oklahoma. While we were waiting to sign up for the Texas Hold 'Em Poker Tournament the guy next to me was talking about a rumor he had heard about Harrah's Casino and Hotel interested in putting a development along the Oklahoma River in OKC. I asked him where he heard it and he couldn't remember. Interestingly, a couple hours later a different guy said he had heard the same thing. So, I wonder who is spreading this rumor?

I emailed Harrah's. I'll report any response I get. "

So, what do you guys think?

mranderson
02-16-2005, 06:15 AM
No surprise. Harrah's is always looking for markets to bring casinos.

Some are fairly small, but most include a hotel and several restaurants. I hope ours is the latter.

floater
02-16-2005, 08:24 AM
Adding a bookstore and a casino would neatly fill Bricktown's activity void. But a casino would generate so much life on its own, like Bass Pro, that it would instantly create the need for a parking garage if placed in Lower Bricktown. I'm still stilling holding out that a bookstore would be great to fill the upper floors in the warehouses in Bricktown proper.

mranderson
02-16-2005, 08:41 AM
Adding a bookstore and a casino would neatly fill Bricktown's activity void. But a casino would generate so much life on its own, like Bass Pro, that it would instantly create the need for a parking garage if placed in Lower Bricktown. I'm still stilling holding out that a bookstore would be great to fill the upper floors in the warehouses in Bricktown proper.

I hope they build on the lot at SW15 and Portland. Nothing like cruising to the casino during lunch at Dell.

floater
02-16-2005, 09:06 AM
I hope they build on the lot at SW15 and Portland. Nothing like cruising to the casino during lunch at Dell.

With a jet ski you can really cruise to the casino in Bricktown during lunchtime. :)

mranderson
02-16-2005, 09:10 AM
With a jet ski you can really cruise to the casino in Bricktown during lunchtime. :)

Or any other registered trademark brand water craft.

Midtowner
02-16-2005, 09:48 AM
Adding a bookstore and a casino would neatly fill Bricktown's activity void. But a casino would generate so much life on its own, like Bass Pro, that it would instantly create the need for a parking garage if placed in Lower Bricktown. I'm still stilling holding out that a bookstore would be great to fill the upper floors in the warehouses in Bricktown proper.

I'm concerned that if a casino does open on the river too far away from Bricktown, it will spur a Bricktown-like development on the river that may do a lot of damage to Bricktown and downtown development in general. I believe this is one of the concerns that the Mayor outlined in his speach.

Nuclear_2525
02-16-2005, 10:43 AM
Am I stupid or will this never happen since Harrah's isn't an indian owned casino? I thought only Indian tribes could open casinos on their reservations in Oklahoma?

Midtowner
02-16-2005, 10:51 AM
Am I stupid or will this never happen since Harrah's isn't an indian owned casino? I thought only Indian tribes could open casinos on their reservations in Oklahoma?

Harrah's could still manage a tribal Casino. Under an agreement between them and the Indians, they could still take a fee or a percentage of the revenue for managing the property.

swake
02-16-2005, 11:02 AM
Harrahís does manage an Indian casino in Topeka. I think for the Shawnee tribe.

Wonít happen in OKC though, the casino has to be on Federally reserved land in the national area for whatever tribe is backing the casino. Central Oklahoma is not in any of the tribes national areas since it was reserved for whites, the whole land run thing, remember?

Tulsa has three tribal nations in it, the Osage in Northwest Tulsa just outside of downtown, The Cherokees generally north of I-244 and the Creeks south of I-244. Black Gold Casinos is the company that will finance, build and manage the new Creek casino on Riverside in Tulsa where their dump of a casino now sits. I think the Cherokees did their casino all on their own and the Osages have a company building and running their new casino in Sand Springs and one being built now in northwest Tulsa. I donít remember who that company is though.

mranderson
02-16-2005, 11:06 AM
"won't happen" should not be in anyones dialouge. It is possible that Harrah's could get permission to locate a casino on the river. Or, it could be on Indian land in the metro. From what I read, there was no mention in the rumors as to where in the city it would be located.

Patrick
02-16-2005, 11:52 AM
Yeah, for many years, everyone said the lottery "wouldn't happen." Thanks to Brad Henry, the lottery is a go, and you'll be able to buy lottery tickets this fall.

swake
02-16-2005, 12:23 PM
Then let's say it's going to take a change in the state constitution.

floater
02-16-2005, 03:44 PM
Then let's say it's going to take a change in the state constitution.

...which can be amended.


I'm concerned that if a casino does open on the river too far away from Bricktown, it will spur a Bricktown-like development on the river that may do a lot of damage to Bricktown and downtown development in general. I believe this is one of the concerns that the Mayor outlined in his speach.

I have faith that Hogan (if he owns that land) and city planners will work things out to where such a development does not form a rival cluster. So far, the components in Lower Bricktown have complemented Bricktown. Besides, that stretch between Lower Bricktown and the river can still be considered downtown. Also, there are still quite a few elements that downtown lacks (housing, groceries, specialized retail, street cafes, resident services, etc) and when they do come, not all of them will be situated along the canal.

metro
02-16-2005, 08:17 PM
I'm concerned that if a casino does open on the river too far away from Bricktown, it will spur a Bricktown-like development on the river that may do a lot of damage to Bricktown and downtown development in general. I believe this is one of the concerns that the Mayor outlined in his speach.

Midtowner, you nailed it! The Mayor, Council, and advisors specifically mentioned that this is one thing we want to avoid. The last thing any major city, especially one that does not have natural boundaries and can continue suburban sprawl is to create areas or "two downtowns or bricktowns" and take away incentives, investments, and jobs from downtown and the inner city.

okcpulse
02-17-2005, 12:49 AM
I believe we on this forum need to push the developers who plan residential development downtown to get on the ball, because that is exactly what Bricktown is missing. Then will come the bookstore, and coffee shops, and gourmet food markets.

Midtowner
02-17-2005, 08:00 AM
Then let's say it's going to take a change in the state constitution.

The city *could* annex land to a tribe.

I'm not sure who would have to assent to that, but it is a possibility. Most likely, such an operation would be done under a very unique agreement. Maybe we could write into the contract that the land would belong to the tribe "As long as the grass shall grow"... Am I a sick person for even suggesting that? ;)

mranderson
02-17-2005, 08:17 AM
How can the city annex a tribe? Makes no sense.

They could donate land along the river to a tribe, making it legal for Harrah's to open with the Tribal pact.

Midtowner
02-17-2005, 08:19 AM
How can the city annex a tribe? Makes no sense.

They could donate land along the river to a tribe, making it legal for Harrah's to open with the Tribal pact.

Pleas reread. I said annex TO a tribe.

Yes, that also means they could donate it. Such a donation/annexation, however would have a lot of strings attached I'm sure. I don't want some tribe or tribal association coming here and starting a downtown indian smokeshop or something like that.

mranderson
02-17-2005, 08:47 AM
Pleas reread. I said annex TO a tribe.

Yes, that also means they could donate it. Such a donation/annexation, however would have a lot of strings attached I'm sure. I don't want some tribe or tribal association coming here and starting a downtown indian smokeshop or something like that.

Symantics.:fighting2

swake
02-17-2005, 09:40 AM
Well, good luck.

Since OKC is not in the boundaries of any tribal nation, any tribe that tried to get the BIA to reserve land in OKC would have to show historical ties to the area, pre-european immigration. I donít know that any tribe can make that claim, but I donít know that there isnít one that can either. Even if you find one and they agree, then thereís a particular congressman you are going to have to fight. He has a bill in congress right now to limit any new reserved land. Your very own Ernest Istook. He is strongly supported by our very own brand spanking new senator and fighter of spreading lesbianism Dr Tom!

And even if you get it reserved, I donít think Oklahoma has any rights to control what is done with the land. Oklahoma went through that a couple years ago with some land in Miami with one of the tribes there that had gotten land reserved with the understanding a casino would not be opened. And then they did open a casino and the state could do nothing because reserved land isnít technically in the state any longer.

You have a better shot of changing the state constitution by holding a statewide vote to allow non-tribal casinos.

Midtowner
02-17-2005, 09:59 AM
Well, good luck.

Since OKC is not in the boundaries of any tribal nation, any tribe that tried to get the BIA to reserve land in OKC would have to show historical ties to the area, pre-european immigration. I donít know that any tribe can make that claim, but I donít know that there isnít one that can either. Even if you find one and they agree, then thereís a particular congressman you are going to have to fight. He has a bill in congress right now to limit any new reserved land. Your very own Ernest Istook. He is strongly supported by our very own brand spanking new senator and fighter of spreading lesbianism Dr Tom!

And even if you get it reserved, I donít think Oklahoma has any rights to control what is done with the land. Oklahoma went through that a couple years ago with some land in Miami with one of the tribes there that had gotten land reserved with the understanding a casino would not be opened. And then they did open a casino and the state could do nothing because reserved land isnít technically in the state any longer.

You have a better shot of changing the state constitution by holding a statewide vote to allow non-tribal casinos.

I concur as to allowing non-tribal Casinos. I think such development if done right could really help our tourism industry out. If we're looking at another anchor for Bricktown, a Harrah's or other type of Casino would be it! Maybe Gaylord Hotels would even open up a hotel/casino down there (of course with that name, and that family's influence, you know the tax payers would be paying for it).

I've said it many times though, we already have casino gaming in Oklahoma in the form of physical Casinos within 30-minutes of most everyone in the MSAs. We also have internet gaming, so really, gambling is no further away than your nearest internet connected PC. I think the state is missing out bigtime by not moving this direction.

okcpulse
02-17-2005, 02:44 PM
I'll put my money on Winstar Casino Resort. They have a 200 room hotel AND a 500 room hotel planned, plus a golf course. It's 90 minutes south of OKC, but Winstar serves both OKC and Dallas.

Thunderbird Wild West Casino is too far in the sticks on a highway I hate to drive on, and Lucky Star sits in the middle of nowhere on US 81.

mranderson
02-17-2005, 02:58 PM
I'll put my money on Winstar Casino Resort. They have a 200 room hotel AND a 500 room hotel planned, plus a golf course. It's 90 minutes south of OKC, but Winstar serves both OKC and Dallas.

Thunderbird Wild West Casino is too far in the sticks on a highway I hate to drive on, and Lucky Star sits in the middle of nowhere on US 81.

For those of us who calculate distance in miles, it is aporximatly 100 miles from Oklahoma City.

Yes, Thrunderbird is a VERY long drive and does not look like a real casino.

USG'86
02-18-2005, 09:14 AM
I remember a story in the Oklahoman reporting a native family sold an acre or two for something outrageous like 2 million for the purpose of building a casino in OKlahoma City. I recall the location and time the article came out well. The location was just west of May Ave, just south of the river. The article came out within a couple days either side of the day the Columbia came apart over Dallas. It was the last week of January, 2003.

The location is very close to the Dell area, but a few acres wouldn't be nearly big enough for Harrah's, unless they went straight up. However, it may lend credibility to the possibility that tribal lands within Oklahoma City could be used for a casino.

Maybe if someone here has access to the Oklahoman archives, they could provide more insight to the article.

mranderson
02-18-2005, 09:26 AM
"The location is very close to the Dell area, but a few acres wouldn't be nearly big enough for Harrah's, unless they went straight up. However, it may lend credibility to the possibility that tribal lands within Oklahoma City could be used for a casino."

It depends on how many acres are in a "few." That term has as many intrupetations are there are people on the planet. Would you please tell us how many you think are a "few."

USG'86
02-18-2005, 09:32 AM
Two.

I don't recall the exact size of the parcel of land referenced in the article. That's why I suggested the archives. If I'm close to accurate on the size, somewhere between two city lots and 4 acres, then that would certainly be the smallest Harrah's in existence. And I don't know if Harrah's can franchise to a native operation or not, as someone alluded to.

I found the headline from 02/02/03:

Las Vegas family pays $5.6 million for land around possible gaming site

I recall the article so vividly because this was an incredible amount of money for the property purchased. Plus, it's only a few blocks from my Grandmother's house. A lot in that neighborhood would normally be worth only a few thousand each.

Patrick
02-19-2005, 01:40 AM
I'll put my money on Winstar Casino Resort. They have a 200 room hotel AND a 500 room hotel planned, plus a golf course. It's 90 minutes south of OKC, but Winstar serves both OKC and Dallas.

Thunderbird Wild West Casino is too far in the sticks on a highway I hate to drive on, and Lucky Star sits in the middle of nowhere on US 81.

I was curious about something....will the hotels at Winstar be attached like at Cherokee, or will they just be on the property? Attaching them to the casino like a Vegas hotel would be more appealing.

SoundMind
02-19-2005, 09:05 PM
Two.

I don't recall the exact size of the parcel of land referenced in the article. That's why I suggested the archives. If I'm close to accurate on the size, somewhere between two city lots and 4 acres, then that would certainly be the smallest Harrah's in existence. And I don't know if Harrah's can franchise to a native operation or not, as someone alluded to.

I found the headline from 02/02/03:

Las Vegas family pays $5.6 million for land around possible gaming site

I recall the article so vividly because this was an incredible amount of money for the property purchased. Plus, it's only a few blocks from my Grandmother's house. A lot in that neighborhood would normally be worth only a few thousand each.

I also read the same story months ago when it was published. The family could be holding onto the land for later use. Who knows- if you get enough people to lobby our legislature to change the law, maybe casinos will be allowed in OKC. The lottery was finally legalized, as was casino style gambling at Indian casinos.

Here's a good platform for casinos wanting to enter the market: Indian casinos can have casino styling gambling, why can't other groups run casinos?

Sooner&RiceGrad
02-21-2005, 12:36 AM
The city *could* annex land to a tribe.


And every Tom, Dick and Harry would oppose it, because THERE IS NO REASON TO GIVE THEM MORE LAND. :demonslay

okcpulse
02-22-2005, 02:15 AM
From what I understand, Patrick, the hotels will be attached. Their first hotel, which I believe is actually a Microtel or Travelodge, is not attatched.

Patrick
02-24-2005, 10:30 PM
From what I understand, Patrick, the hotels will be attached. Their first hotel, which I believe is actually a Microtel or Travelodge, is not attatched.

That would be great! Having more detached hotels on their grounds wouldn't solve anything. What makes Cherokee so nice in Tulsa is that the hotel is actually connected to the casino. So, you can move between your room and the casino whenever you wish, since all the casino is open 24 hours. It's very similar to a Vegas casino.