Tribal Economic Impact 2018 - Page 6

Artist’s rendering of the indoor water park to be built as an addition to the Otoe-Missouria casino and hotel complex. Water park likely start of casino offerings diversifying BY CATHERINE SWEENEY THE JOURNAL RECORD OKLAHOMA CITY – Despite its remote location, the Otoe-Missouria Tribe’s casino complex will soon make a splash. The nation lies in the north-central part of Oklahoma, just a few miles south of the Kansas border. Its hotel is getting an expansion, and the tribe will also add a sprawling indoor water park. Spokeswoman Heather Payne said the Otoe-Missouria don’t have the geographic benefits that other tribes do, so development will instead rely on features that other tribes lack – specifically, family-friendly options. Kyle Dean, an economist who studies tribal issues, said it’s likely other nations will take a similar approach in coming years. The project will span 20,000 square feet, including three large rides, a pool for teenagers, a children’s play area and a lazy river. The tribe will also install an arcade on the site. Excluding temporary construction work, the addition is expected to create 70 to 100 new jobs. The Otoe-Missouria casino isn’t close to any major metros, Payne said. Both Oklahoma City and Tulsa are more than 100 miles away. Wichita is about 75 miles away. It also doesn’t border Texas or Arkansas, where gambling is illegal and those who want to play must cross state lines. “We’re actually competing with the state of Kansas, which has its own casinos,” she said. “We have to make ourselves more unique.” The tribe’s leaders decided to go the family- friendly route. Most competitors require other costs for parents. “There are so many casinos where moms and dads can go,” Payne said. “They’re going to 6 T R I B A L E C O N O M I C I M PA C T • J U LY 2 0 1 8 ABOUT THE PROJECT • 20,000 square feet • three large rides • pool for teenagers • children’s play area • lazy river • game arcade • e xpected to create 70–100 new jobs