Cherokee Tribal Council Approves $275M Expansion of Valley River Casino

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The Cherokee Tribal Council recently approved a master plan for a major expansion at the Valley River Casino in Murphy.

The approved master plan represents an investment of more than double the $110M spent to create the initial facility in 2015. The Valley River Casino opened with a gaming area of 50,000 square feet, 1,050 slot machines, 70 table games, and a food court type dining area. In 2018, 41,000 square feet of of entertainment area was added in a $13M renovation. To keep it edge over the competition, a large-scale expansion was needed.

Said Harrah’s Regional Vice President for Marketing Brian Saunooke:

“We’re thrilled with Tribal Council’s support of the resolution and are optimistic that Chief Sneed will ratify the resolution.”

A $275M Project Cost

According to the resolution, the Tribal Casino Gaming Enterprise will appoint JCJ Architecture to conceptualize and develop the project design while also providing for the cost estimate. For the project, the TCGE will obtain a loan not to exceed the amount of $275M.

The resolution did not name the projects in the master plan and the latter was not made public. However, key features in the expansion include an additional hotel tower, a new dining venue, a hotel lobby cafe, a spa, and indoor pool, additional gaming space, and additional parking.

North Carolina’s First Sports Betting Venues

Last March, the Cherokees partnered with Caesars Entertainment and William Hill U.S. to open the state’s first sports betting venues just in time for the NCAA’s March Madness. Dubbed as The Book, the sportsbooks opened at the Valley River Casino and at Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in Cherokee.

The sportsbook at the Valley River Casino has a 32-foot ultra-high definition screen and comfortable reclining chairs. It boasts of a total of gour ticket-writer windows and five self-service betting kiosks.