A new addition to the Oklahoma Panhandle could soon have people looking to strike it rich in Guymon.
The land where the “Golden Mesa Casino” sits will start to take shape.
But before construction can start, the ceremonial groundbreaking had to take place.
Today, members of the Shawnee Tribe, Global Gaming Solutions, Chickasaw Nation and the city of Guymon gathered for the momentous occasion.
It’s more than just moving a pile of dirt.
This is land the members of the Shawnee tribe can finally call their own
“When we were recognized in the year 2000, we were considered a landless tribe. I visited with Governor Anoatubby, the governor of Chickasaw Nation and we looked at the law and what it allowed us to do and the law stated that we can go to unassigned lands in Oklahoma,” said Ron Sparkman, Shawnee Tribe Chief.
Their search led them here, 107 acres of land southwest of Guymon.
“We weren’t really approached about it, it’s like most major economic development projects, a lot of the times they’ve already got it well underway, before they come and explain to you that they’d like to come to your city and by the way we’ve already bought land, so that’s where we stood on the deal,” said Kim Peterson, Guymon Mayor.
Towards the end of March this year, officials said the land deed was signed allowing the tribe to pursue economic development opportunities in the region.
“It’s projected to be about a $34 million impact to the state, to the area and what it does, it brings a lot of different tourism and other things to this part of the state that they currently don’t have,” said Skip Seeley, Global Gaming Solutions CEO & President.
We’re told the casino’s prime location right outside the city limits will bring easy access for people driving from Kansas, Colorado, Eastern New Mexico and here in the Texas Panhandle.
The casino is set to open sometime next year, no word on the month or date just yet.
When it begins to function, we’re told it’s expected to have about 150 employees working in the 42,000 square foot building.
We’re told architects have designed the building to accommodate possible future expansion:
- About 500 additional games
- Hotel with meeting space
- RV Park
- Making the casino an entertainment venue
Despite some of these perks, the mayor said Guymon residents are divided on the casino coming to town.