Harrah's Cherokee Casino Hotel breaks ground on expansion
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July 13, 2009
CHEROKEE, North Carolina - Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel today broke ground
on its new 532-room luxury Tower, part of a $633 million expansion to position
the property as the premier gaming destination in the Southeast and world-class
entertainment and tourism destination. The Master Plan for the property is
currently the largest hospitality expansion project underway in the Southeast
and one of the largest in the U.S., offering the greatest number of hotel
accommodations in the state.
Upon completion in 2012, the 37-acre property will have added a third tower
incorporating luxury accommodations and high-end suites, a 3,000-seat events
center, entertainment and VIP lounges, 16,000-square-foot spa, new
state-of-the-art digital poker room, Asian gaming room, restaurant and retail
outlets, and hotel and casino parking garages. Harrah's Cherokee is also
renovating current casino facilities and doubling the size of its casino floor
to 150,000 square feet while increasing video and table game capacity. The
facilities will incorporate the Eastern Band of Cherokee's extensive and
important collection of Native American art. Significant investment is being
made in technology and group services, from business and conference support to
elaborate catering services.
Today's groundbreaking ceremonies included Harrah's management and executives,
Eastern Band of Cherokee Tribal leaders, government officials and local VIPs,
construction and design representatives and members of the media. The project
has significant economic impact for the region, significantly increasing
hospitality-related and construction jobs available in the region.
Speaking at the event were Principal Chief Michell Hicks, Eastern Band of
Cherokees; Norma Moss, Chair of Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise; Lynn Minges,
Assistant Secretary/Tourism, Marketing and Global Branding, North Carolina;
Darold Londo, Senior Vice President/General Manager, Harrah's Cherokee; John
Payne, Central Division President, Harrah's Entertainment; Ken Leach, Executive
Vice President, Turner Construction.
Principal Chief Hicks said that the Tribe -- along with Harrah's Entertainment
-- is proud of the massive expansion effort that will grow and transform the
property into "a world-class entertainment and tourism destination." Chief Hicks
noted: "Despite the economy, the expansion will position the property in perfect
position -- ahead of the competition -- when the economy rebounds and we can
welcome new customers anxious for world-class entertainment, accommodations and
Visitors to Harrah's Cherokee enjoy nearby recreational, athletic and cultural
attractions within the Great Smoky Mountains, and visits to Museum of the
Cherokee Indian, Oconaluftee Indian Village, Qualla Arts and Crafts Mutual
Gallery and "Unto These Hills" Mountainside Theater. Opening in September 2009
is nearby Sequoia National Golf Club designed by world-renowned golf architect
Robert Trent Jones II.
Harrah's Cherokee Casino & Hotel is an enterprise of the Eastern Band of the
Cherokee Nation, located 50 miles west of Asheville at the entrance to the Great
Smoky Mountains National Park. Harrah's Cherokee Casino is open 24 hours a day
to guests 21 years of age or older. For more information:
1-800-HARRAHS or www.harrahs.com.
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