Catawba Nation Set to Begin Construction on $700 Million Casino Resort

The Catawba Nation has settled a major legal battle and is now prepared to start building its $700 million permanent casino resort in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. This massive undertaking is made possible by the deal that the tribe recently reached with their former casino developer about the ground lease for its trust lands.

On June 7, the tribe will hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the new resort, which will be located approximately 35 minutes from downtown Charlotte. This significant event comes after the Catawba Nation settled privately with Sky Boat Gaming in early May, eliminating the firm’s involvement in the project. Earlier this year, the tribe also purchased additional land from Sky Boat around its temporary casino, including the parking lot and other properties that could support resort amenities.

Catawba Nation Chief Brian Harris expressed his enthusiasm, stating, “We persevered to achieve a fair deal so that we can now realize the full financial and economic benefits of the project for Catawba Nation members and residents of Cleveland County.” He emphasized that the casino represents more than just a building; it is a commitment to preserving tribal identity, supporting the community, and creating opportunities.

Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Developments

Tribal leaders confirmed that planning for the permanent casino continued throughout the settlement negotiations. With construction and design plans now finalized, initial financing secured, and a ceremonial groundbreaking set for this week, the project is officially underway. The tribe has also completed two crucial infrastructure projects: expanding the Dixon School Road Bridge over I-85 and installing new sewer lines near the casino site.

Delaware North is slated to manage and develop the permanent casino resort, pending contract approval by the Indian Gaming Commission. SoshNY Design will serve as the architect for the project.

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Casino & Sports

During the construction phase, the Catawba Nation will continue operating its temporary casino, which opened in 2021 and features 1,000 slot machines, electronic table games, a retail sportsbook, and a restaurant. This summer, the temporary casino will add 12 live table games and 56 additional slot machines, along with more surface parking.

Phased Development of the Resort

The permanent casino resort will be developed in two main phases:

  • Introductory Casino: The initial phase will include 1,350 slots and electronic table games, 12 table games, and a 40-seat restaurant with a sportsbook area. Supporting facilities such as surveillance, security, and the first two floors of a 1,600-spot parking garage will also be completed. This phase is expected to be operational by early 2026, replacing the temporary facility and providing around 420 jobs.
  • Full Casino Resort: The subsequent phase will involve constructing a 400-room hotel and the remainder of the casino complex. The hotel tower will connect to the casino complex, enhancing the guest experience. The final buildout will feature 4,300 slots, 100 table games, five restaurants, a players lounge, and six bars. The resort will employ approximately 2,200 team members upon completion.

The full completion date for the main casino complex and hotel remains undetermined. However, the introductory casino will eventually serve as the smoking section of the main casino once the full resort is operational.

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