Lucky Star Casino is undergoing a major renovation that will include the introduction of beer brewed on-site.
Lucky Star opened in 1994 as the first major casino in Oklahoma. A quarter of a century later, the Cheyenne and Arapaho Tribes are investing more than $1 million in upgrades that will see the restaurant expanded, as well as a new bar area that will feature craft beer, brewed on location.
Andy Rednose, Chief Operating Officer for Lucky Star, said the updates are overdue. He said this will be the first major investment made to the casino. While the improvements will be significant, it's only the first step at Lucky Star and even greater improvements are in the works at the other locations operated by the C&A.
“The craft beer industry has become very popular,” Rednose said. He said the brew to be created on-site does not yet have a name, but expects that decision to be made in the coming weeks. The beer will be sold at the tribes’ six locations throughout central and western Oklahoma. Rednose said it could also be sold to outside vendors such as pubs or restaurants.
Improvements are not confined to Concho.
Charlie Welbourne, Chief Executive Officer for Lucky Star, said a new casino with an 80-room hotel attached will be built in Watonga. The tribes are investing some $28 million in that project.
Rednose said the hotel is expected to fill quickly.
“The studies show there is a need, especially with the oil and gas activity in the area,” he said.
The hotel will feature conference space that can be divided into three sections. The entire project will measure more than 100,000 square feet. It will also mean the doubling of the workforce from 60 employees to 120 jobs being created.
A $1 million upgrade is planned at the Clinton Lucky Star, while a $3 million administrative complex is planned at Concho, just to the west of the casino.
“We’ve been a little busy,” said Welbourne, referring to the planning for the projects.
Rednose said focus groups have been working on the projects in an effort to gain as much input as possible.
Gov. Reggie Wassana and Lt. Gov. Gib Miles have made job creation a priority.
Rednose said future plans include an outdoor amphitheater near the Concho Lucky Star. The casino once hosted major music acts, the likes of Diana Ross and The Moody Blues. The plan is to again host big-name music performers.
Welbourne and Rednose spoke about the potential for development on land the C&A own in El Reno on South Country Club near I-40. Attorneys are working to have the land placed into trust. That could possibly happen this year, making development possible. The C&A own about 90 acres there.