Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson reopened after flood repairs

BY D. SEAN ROWLEY
Senior Reporter
09/16/2019 12:00 PM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
The gaming area, stage space, restaurant and tavern are again open at the Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson. The facility was closed earlier this year because of historic flooding. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Main Cherokee Phoenix
A patron plays an electronic game on Sept. 11 at the reopened Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson. The venue closed earlier this year because of flooding. D. SEAN ROWLEY/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
FORT GIBSON – After closing earlier this year in the wake of historic flooding all along the Arkansas River, the Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson underwent a “soft opening” on Aug. 30 and is welcoming patrons back for gaming and entertainment.

Shawn Slaton of Cherokee Nation Businesses explained during the Aug. 29 meeting of the Tribal Council’s Executive & Finance Committee that the venue would open its doors on Aug. 30.

“We’re going to do a soft opening there,” Slaton said. “We will just let it kind of trickle back in and build itself back up, and get the facility broken back in slowly.”

The casino has also hosted musical entertainment since its reopening, with acts performing on Sept. 6-7.

Flooding during the spring resulted in water rising above the ground floor of the casino by several inches, forcing the removal of gaming machines and other assets and requiring the venue’s closure to repair the damage. The removed gaming devices were stored at the old Cherokee Casino Tahlequah, while Fort Gibson employees were assigned duties at other locations, and continued to receive their pay.

Among CNB sites, the Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson was the most adversely affected. Speaking on May 24, Slaton did not offer a cost-of-damage estimate, stating that assessments were not yet possible.

Another CNB site affected by the inclement weather was Cherokee Casino Will Rogers Downs in Claremore, where water damage to the racing track forced cancellation of the last three days of the its spring thoroughbred racing season.

For information about the reopening of the Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson, call 918-684-5507.
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