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Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas

Tribal Organization: Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma

LEGENDS RESORT CASINO PROJECT IN ARKANSAS

Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas
Interstate 40
Russellville, Arkansas

Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas is a proposed project to build casino and hotel in Russellville, Polk County. Arkansas.

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Cherokee Nation Business of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma has partnered with Legends, a hospitality and stadium-management company founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner, to build a casino hotel complex in Pope County named Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas.

Location

The Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas will be built on 135 acres north of Interstate 40 on Nob Hill Road. The western boundry is Weir Road and the eastern boundry isAlaskan Trail.

News

News Arkansas Supreme Court: "Cherokee Nation is qualified applicant for Pope County casino" July 22, 2020 - The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the ruling of Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox that the Cherokee Business Nation was not a qualified ... Read more News Arkansas' Pope County casino selection is pending April 25, 2020 - The final selection of a casino applicant to build a casino in Pope County is in its last phase. The Arkansas Racing Commission will decide sometime after July 1st whether to license the Legends Resort ... Read more News Cherokee Nation study shows $3B economic impact from proposed Arkansas casino February 21, 2020 - This week Cherokee Nation Businesses released a study showing a $3B economic impact on Pope County and Northwest Arkansas from the proposed Legends ... Read more More Headlines ...

$225M Project Summary

CASINO - 50,000-sq-ft gaming floor with 1,200 slots, 21 table games and sportsbook

HOTEL - 200 luxury guest rooms and suites with pool, spa and fitness room

CONFERENCE CENTER - 15,000-sq-ft multipurpose space for meetings, entertainment and special functions

CONCERT VENUE - outdoor music and entertainment venue

WATERPARK - outdoor waterpark

RV PARK - RV and dog park with 100 RV spaces


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Gaming

$225 million construction cost
50,000-square-foot gaming floor

1,200 slot machines

32 table games

Sportsbook

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Restaurants

Upscale steakhouse

Food court

Grab & go

High-end sports bar

Bars

Entertainment

Outdoor music venue for concerts and live entertainment

Outdoor family water park

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Hotel

200 luxury rooms

Spa and fitness center

Resort pool

Hotel and pool rendering of Legends Resort and Casino Arkansas

Conference and Meeting Space

15,000 square feet for entertainment, meetings and conferences with 1,000 person capacity.

RV Park

RV and dog park with 100 RV spaces

News Articles

Arkansas Supreme Court: "Cherokee Nation is qualified applicant for Pope County casino"

July 22, 2020

The Arkansas Supreme Court overturned the ruling of Pulaski County Circuit Judge Tim Fox that the Cherokee Business Nation was not a qualified applicant for the Pope County casino license. This reversal should require another review of the Pope County casino applicants by the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC).

The Cherokee Nation applied for the Pope County casino in partnership with Legends, a hospitality and stadium-management company. The partnership, named Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas, proposed a casino complex in Russellville, AR.

Judge Fox's rejected Legends Resort & Casino as a qualified applicant for "having no experience at operating a casino anywhere in the country ". The Cherokee Nation operates nine casinos in Oklahoma and has decades of casino experience. The Supreme Court agreed with the Cherokee saying "Legends is indeed a casino applicant as defined by the Arkansas Constitution amendment that voters passed during a 2018 ballot referendum."

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Arkansas' Pope County casino selection is pending

April 25, 2020

The final selection of a casino applicant to build a casino in Pope County is in its last phase. The Arkansas Racing Commission will decide sometime after July 1 whether to license the Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas proposed by the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma in partnership with Legends, a hospitality and stadium-management company, or the River Valley Casino Resort proposed by Gulfside Casino Partners, a Mississippi casino group.

Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas
This $225 million resort and casino would be built on 135 acres north of Interstate 40 on Nob Hill Road and feature a 50,000-sq-ft gaming floor, 1,200 slots, 21 table games, a 2-room hotel, conference center, concert venue, waterpark and RV park.

River Valley Casino Resort Proposal
This $254 million casino resort would be built in Russellville and feature a 100,000 square-foot gaming floor, 2,100 slot machines, 100 table games and a 600-room hotel.

Last August the Cherokee Nation's Legends Casino application was selected by the Arkansas Racing Commission (ARC) over four other applicants including Gulfside. This prompted Gulfside to file a lawsuit against the ARC claiming it was the "only applicant for Pope County that timely complied with every requirement of Amendment 100."

On March 24 a Pulaski County circuit judge ruled the Gulfside application was improperly rejected and must be reconsidered by the ARC "on its merits".

In an ARC meeting following the court decision, the commission voted unanimously to accept both the Cherokee Nation application and the Gulfside application. The commission then contracted Jim Fox, a gambling consultant, to review the applications and make a recommendation on them before June 30.

The ARC is expected to meet in early July to review the evaluation report of the contractor and make a final selection for the Pope County casino.

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Cherokee Nation study shows $3B economic impact from proposed Arkansas casino

February 21, 2020

This week Cherokee Nation Businesses released a study on the potential economic impact on Pope County and Northwest Arkansas by the tribe's proposed Legends Resort and Casino Arkansas in Russellville, AR.

The study by the Economic Impact Group (EIG) predicts the economic impact on that area will be $3.15 billion over 10 years.

ECONOMIC IMPACT FINDINGS OVER FIRST 10 YEARS

  • Direct employment of 1000 jobs

  • Jobs Supported 1750+ - 21000+ jobs

  • Employee Income $43.3 - $530 MM

  • Vendor Purchases from businesses $22.4 - $296 MM

  • $2 - $18.9 MM to Pope County Community Development Grant

  • $4.3 - $52.3 MM Taxes paid to Pope County

  • $100 - $945 K to Russellville Economic Development Alliance

Source: Legends Resort & Casino

In a news release, Chuck Garrett, CEO of Cherokee Nation Businesses, said: "In forming our plans for Legends Resort & Casino, we turned to a network of experts to help us understand how this project would impact the region's economy. It was fitting for us to engage this research through Dr. Russell Evans and EIG who are already very familiar with current CNB (Cherokee Nation Businesses) operations."

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Choctaw Nation files for Arkansas casino

November 23, 2019

The Choctaw Nation submitted an application with the Arkansas Racing Commission for a license to build a commercial casino in Pope County. The submission was just hours before the 4:30PM final deadline for all applications, and three days after the Cherokee Nation amended its application

Pope County officials have endorsed the Cherokee Nation application. Under Arkansas Amendment 100, all applications for a new casino must include an endorsement of support from county officials.

The Choctaw application did not include documentation of local support. When asked why, Janie Dillard, a senior executive officer for the Choctaw Nation, replied in a written statement:

"The Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma has consistently advocated for a fair, open and transparent process. We hope that the state will take action to allow all proposals to receive fair consideration."

An additional explanation with more information should be expected soon.

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Cherokee Nation's casino proposal is rejected by Russellville City Council

UPDATE Nov. 21, 2019

The Russellville City Council approved a resolution endorsing the casino proposal submitted by Cherokee Nation Businesses.

October 11, 2019

The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is partnering with Legends, a hospitality company founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, has proposed building a $225 million casino named Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas in Russellville, Arkansas.

Last August the Legends proposal was selected by a local judge and quorum court over four other casino candidates for licensing by the Arkansas Racing Commission.

Last week the Russellville City Council announced it had received four casino applications prior to its deadline. The Council said it has rejected the Legends casino proposal on the basis of an incomplete application. The office of Mayor Richard Harris explained that a consent and release form required in the application was not signed.

Cherokee Nation Businesses CEO Chuck Garrett responded with a different perspective. He said they have not actually applied for review by city officials and the Community Gaming Evaluation Committee. Rather, the company delivered a project overview to county and city officials, including the Russellville City Council, in an effort to "keep the community and elected officials informed."

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Cherokee Nation selected for Pope County casino

August 11, 2019

The Cherokee Nation's casino application to build a casino in Russellville has been selected by a local judge and quorum court over four other candidates for Pope County's sole casino endorsement submitted to the Arkansas Racing Commission.

Cherokee Nation Businesses, the casino management company of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma, is partnering with Legends, a hospitality company founded by Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and the late New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner.

The letter of support was issued by Pope County Judge Ben Cross and the local Quorum Court. It is required at the time a casino license application is submitted to the Arkansas Racing Commission.

Five applications were previously submitted to the Arkansas Racing Commission for the sole casino license to be issued in Pope County. All five were rejected by for lacking a letter of support from local officials. The deadline was extended for applicants to work with the Pope County judge and the Quorum Court for endorsement.

The four casino proposals that were passed came from the Choctaw Nation, Gulfside Casino Partners, Hard Rock International & Warner Gaming partnership, and Robert and Ruth Kehl.

Hard Rock's reaction to losing the endorsement was stated in a letter released immediately afterwards:

"Remarkably, we were asked if we could submit our final offer after we were informed that a different operator will be selected. This clearly is not what we expected when we started this process."

"We have continually asked for a fair, open and transparent process and all of the applicants who have spent a significant amount of time and money deserve this, More importantly, the public deserves this."

The Cherokee Nation owns nine casinos in Oklahoma:

Cherokee Casino Fort Gibson
Cherokee Casino Grove
Cherokee Casino Roland
Cherokee Casino Sallisaw
Cherokee Casino South Coffeyville
Cherokee Casino Tahlequah
Cherokee Casino Ramona
Cherokee Casino West Siloam Springs
Hard Rock Casino Tulsa

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News Headlines Continued

News Choctaw Nation files for Arkansas casino November 23, 2019 - The Choctaw Nation submitted an application with the Arkansas Racing Commission for a license to build a commercial casino in Pope County. The submission was just hours before the 4:30PM final deadline ... Read more News Cherokee Nation's casino proposal is rejected by Russellville City Council October 11, 2019 - Last week the Russellville City Council rejected the casino application from the Cherokee Nations and Legends Hospitality as incomplete. The $225M casino proposal ... Read more News Cherokee Nation, Legends preview $225M Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas August 12, 2019 - Plans to build the Legends Resort & Casino Arkansas in Russellville were revealed today. The $225M project includes an outdoor waterpark, outdoor music venue, ... Read more News Cherokee Nation selected for Pope County casino August 11, 2019 - The Cherokee Nation in partnership with Legends, a Cowboys/Yankees-backed hospitality company, wins court endorsement to build a casino and hotel complex in Russellville. ... Read more
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