Roughly an hour drive from Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort, located in the town of Cherokee, North Carolina, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is building a new $110 million casino.
On October 16, the tribe held a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Harrah's Murphy Casino & Hotel, based in Cherokee County just outside the town of Murphy. The gaming facility, which will feature 60,000 square feet of gaming space with slots and traditional table games, will be owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and managed by Caesars Entertainment Corporation. The new Harrah's will include a 300-room, full-service hotel, and a variety of dining options.
The casino will be located approximately two hours away from Knoxville and Chattanooga, both in Tennessee, and downtown Atlanta, Georgia, and is anticipated to serve the large and growing adult population residing within that radius. In 2011, 7.4 million people age 21 or older lived within 2.5 hours of the casino site. Now, more than 7.6 million people adults live in that same area.
"Our winning partnership with Caesars Entertainment gives us a proven track record in the gaming industry," said Principal Chief Michell Hicks. "This is an ambitious project, but we are confident that it will be a success—for our customers, our tribe and for the surrounding community."
The Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise announced at the October 16 groundbreaking ceremony that Whiting Turner Contracting Company, in collaboration with contractor Owle Construction LLC, which is a tribal-member and woman-owned business, and Cuningham Group Architecture, Inc., will design and build the $110 million casino and hotel, reported Cherokee One Feather.
"The Cherokee County casino will certainly bear the high standards of the Caesar's name and brand," said Gary Loveman, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Caesars Entertainment Corporation. "We are an industry leader, and we implement the full expectations of that status into every facility we manage. Hopefully, that will translate into continued success for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and the residents and other businesses of Cherokee County."
The casino will create an estimated 900 jobs on-site and inject up to $39 million in wages into the surrounding area.