October 11, 2018

Tribe moving forward with plans for casino near Perry

Source: The Journal Record

PERRY – The economic landscape of northern Oklahoma along Interstate 35 will soon change as the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma begins advancing its plans for an eventual casino called Fancy Dance near the intersection of I-35 and U.S. 412.
The casino will be on the southeast corner of the intersection with an estimated price tag of $40 million.
Ponca Enterprise Gaming LLC, a subsidiary of the tribe, in late August hired Frankfurt-Short-Bruza Associates as the architect and CP&Y Inc. as the civil engineer for the facility, which will be called Fancy Dance Casino.
Agreements have also been reached with the Noble County Rural Water District No. 2 for water services and with Finley & Cook Accounting.
The casino will eventually be 12,000 square feet with 250 gaming machines in operation along with a restaurant and a fueling station.
“The plan is for the site to grow in stages,” said Ponca Chairman Douglas Rhodd. “We’re first going to open a small establishment and go from there.”
Construction was scheduled to begin last March, but now may not take place until January, said Carla Carney with Ponca Tribal Affairs.
“But we’re not for sure,” said Carney. “That is being planned and managed by Ponca Enterprise Gaming.”
Oklahoma Department of Transportation spokeswoman Lisa Salim said the tribe has not recently contacted the agency about creating a partial interchange off I-35 to the site.
“We do have designs in place and ready,” said Salim. “We have an understanding with the Ponca Tribe that they would pay for the road entrance if we do the construction.”
Salim said the tribe approached ODOT about the possibility of such a project several years ago.
Larry Pannell, city manager for Perry, a community of 5,000 people 8 miles south of the site, is enthusiastic about the impact Fancy Dance will have on his community once completed.
“It’s going to provide jobs for Perry residents and you’re going to see some additional motels go up here on account of it,” Pannell said. “Overall it’s going to be great for Perry and it’s going to help our airport.”
Plans for Fancy Dance casino call for improvements to Airport Road north of Perry to the airstrip, which can then be used by entertainers and guests coming to the casino. Pannell also pointed out that the casino will be using various Perry services such as fire protection.
“We have talked back and forth about creating an economic corridor between the casino and town, but for now it’s just talk,” said Pannell.
The Ponca Tribe already employs 150 people from Noble and Kay counties. Some 50 full-time jobs are anticipated to be created during the first phase of the casino.
This is not the Poncas’ first attempt at a casino. Their two previous casinos in the Ponca City area had to close due to regulatory complications.
The Chickasaw Nation’s Global Gaming Solutions is collaborating on the project, though the Ponca Tribe will be the owner of the facility and handle operations.

Read More