The Osage Nation broke ground Tuesday on new casino locations in Bartlesville and Pawhuska. The tribe has been planning since 2014, after receiving approval for both applications last summer they immediately got to work adjusting the scope of their properties to accommodate today’s construction costs so that they would be done by fall 2022.
Osage Casinos CEO Byron Bighorse said, “Demand in both markets continues to rise and I am proud that we worked together as an enterprise to see this come to fruition. The new Bartlesville facility will be on a 125-acre property at 1803 US Highway 60 less than two miles west of downtown and it’s 57,4000 square feet with 500 slot machines up from the current location’s 42,000 sqft.”
The Osage tribe broke ground on the new Bartlesville location of their casino this week. The Pawhuska location will be across from Oklahoma 60 and have 250 electronic games, a 47-room hotel, and 3,675 square feet meeting space. This is in addition to 101 rooms available at present site near town with 1060 sq ft for meetings.
A Texas tribe has been trying to build a casino on the Osage Nation territory in Oklahoma for years. In 2014, they applied with the US Interior Department to transfer an unused property into federal trust so that it could be used as part of their gaming operations – and last year, they requested permission from another parcel just outside Pawhuska. The tribal council reduced both projects’ scope due to construction costs but are still intent upon expanding within their own borders by building these casinos where there is little-to-no competition nearby at this time; one project is near Bartlesville while the other will sit about 10 miles south of Pawhuska on Highway 75 North/65 East.
The tribe has been looking forward to the new casino for months, and their anticipation is well-deserved. The Bartlesville Executive Director expresses that this will be a major economic boost for “the region.” In addition to third hotel option, it will also provide space where conferences can take place which widens the appeal of our area as a regional destination.
Gus wants to make the world a better place, which is why he spends his days running hotels in the Berkshires.
“I hope what it does is help our own people too,” Gus said when asked about how another county’s tourism might affect him and other employees of Berkshire County accommodations. “We want tourists from all over.”