Hard Rock Redesigns After Oklahoma Roof Collapse

By TEDDYE SNELL | February 10, 2012

Almost one year ago, snow and ice from a winter blizzard caused a portion of the roof at the Hard Rock Casino to collapse.

Thanks to an alert employee, the bingo hall area was evacuated and no one was injured. The calamity spurred a redesign rather than a repair.

Instead of repairing the older part of the casino, Cherokee Nation Businesses opted to add a third hotel tower.

“The tower will add 100 hotel suites and an additional 55,000 square feet of entertainment, convention and gaming space,” said CNB CEO David Stewart. “The addition makes us the largest entertainment and gaming destination in the region.”

Construction began in November 2011, and Stewart said he expects the gaming floor to be complete this fall, and the 10-story hotel tower by the end of the year.

“By hosting more conventions, meetings and concerts, we generate more revenue for services to citizens of the Cherokee Nation,” said Stewart.

Stewart said Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has experienced exponential growth, and since adding The Joint music venue, it continues to enjoy success.

“Since The Joint opened in 2010, we’ve experienced enormous success,” said Stewart. “More than 100,000 fans were entertained during its inaugural year, and the concerts just keep coming.”

Between now and March, The Joint will host Ronnie Dunn, .38 Special, Roger Hodgson, Kid Rock, Jane’s Addiction, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and the Doobie Brothers.

“That’s in the next two months alone, and we’re booking new acts regularly,” said Stewart.

“In the new section, there will be a mezzanine with a media bar, offering an experience you’ll get nowhere else in the state.”

Guests at the Hard Rock currently enjoy dining at their choice of three restaurants, as well as dancing and live music at the nightclubs.

“Expect more dining and entertainment to be introduced once construction is complete,” said Stewart.

In addition to gaming, dining and entertainment, the Hard Rock also has a top-ranked golf course.

“We’ve recently improved out already outstanding Cherokee Hill Golf Cub by renovating the bunkers, improving drainage and introducing tour-quality sand,” said Stewart.

“Our golf course is rated among the top-five places to play in Oklahoma, and is recognized as one of the top casino golf facilities in the country.”

Despite the downturn in the economy over the last few years, Stewart said the tribe’s casinos have come through the recession in good shape.

“Although the overall economy was soft during the recession, we made strategic business decisions that allowed us to weather the conditions as well as we possibly could,” said Stewart. “Thanks to the decisions made by our executive leadership team, our revenues are now stronger than ever, and we’re hiring new employees every week at all eight of our gaming locations.”

The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino has a staff of 1,445, and is one of the largest non-government employers in the Tulsa area.

“We’re happy that, despite the downturn in the economy, we’ve been able to maintain our position as a strong community partner, helping spur economic development across much of northeast Oklahoma,” said Stewart.

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