The Catawba Indian Nation announced on Friday that they will “fast track” the opening of part of its $273M North Carolina casino.
According to tribal leaders, a facility for a “pre-launch” will open this summer at their project site off Interstate 85 at Dixon School Road in Kings Mountain, about 35 miles west of Charlotte. The temporary site will have 500 slot machines.
The announcement came after the Catawba tribe received confirmation of the approval of their revenue-sharing agreement with the state.
Said Catawba Chief Bill Harris in a statement on Friday:
With the completion of our compact with the State of North Carolina, the Catawba Nation is eager to open the casino as quickly as possible to begin bringing economic benefits and jobs to the state and region. We’re working with Delaware North, our consultant on the Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort project, as well as our developer, Skyboat Gaming, to make that happen by opening what we are calling a ‘pre-launch’ facility this summer.”
Revenue Agreement Gets Federal Approval
Last Thursday, the U.S. Department of Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs concluded its 45-days review and approved the revenue sharing agreement that the Catawba Tribe forged with North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper in mid-January.
In a letter dated March 19th, Bureau of Internal Affairs director Darryl LaCounte informed the Catawba Tribe and Gov. Cooper that their pact complies with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and other provisions of the federal law. The approval takes effect when the approval notice has been published in the Federal Register.
The 17 acre North Carolina casino, which will be dubbed as Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort, is expected to create thousands of construction jobs. Once it is fully operational, state officials say that 2,600 permanent jobs will be generated.
Prelaunch Facility and Introductory Building
Harris said that the pre-launch facility will be made up of prefabricated modular structures and will offer limited food and beverage options plus other guest amenities. An introductory phase of the North Carolina casino is also planned and will feature and additional of 1,300 slot machines.
That “introductory” building will be part of the permanent structure that will form part of the full casino and will take one year of construction to complete. While this introductory phase building is under construction, the “pre-launch” facility which will open this summer will remain open.
Both the pre-launch facility and introductory building are expected to teach incoming staff while also accommodating people from the region who are anxious to start gaming as soon as possible.