September 17, 2012
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker, tribal dignitaries, Cherokee Nation Entertainment officials, City of Ramona officials and Bartlesville Chamber of Commerce representatives cut the ribbon to the new Cherokee Casino Ramona. The new casino brings nearly 100 additional jobs to the area.
RAMONA, Okla. – Due to overwhelming demand by guests, Cherokee Nation Entertainment and Cherokee Nation officials celebrated the opening of a larger Cherokee Casino Ramona on Monday, two years after opening the original facility. “We are thrilled to open this new casino because it allows us to add nearly 100 new jobs to the area, as well as economic development opportunities for Ramona, Ochelata and Bartlesville,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “Our casinos exist to provide jobs and opportunities for our citizens, so I’m proud to say that 100 percent of our new hires at this location are Cherokee citizens.”
The new casino is nearly triple the size of the original facility, an increase of 31,000 square feet. The property features a full-service restaurant, a bar, entertainment space and 500 electronic games. When Cherokee Casino Ramona opened in an 11,500-square-foot modular building in May 2010, it housed 211 electronic games, a restaurant and a bar and employed 100 people. “Our guests’ response to Cherokee Casino Ramona, in just a short amount of time, was overwhelming,” said Rusty Stamps, general manager of Cherokee Casino Ramona. “Because of that response and the hard work of our staff, we were able to provide guests these added amenities while almost doubling our employment.”
The Ramona Grill, a café-style restaurant, is open daily from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m., seats 80 people and serves traditional American favorites for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Among the menu items are nachos, burgers, salads, chicken fried steak, pork chops and fried catfish. The restaurant is easily accessible from a separate entrance, so restaurant guests can enter without crossing the gaming floor.
Another new amenity is The Watering Hole, the casino’s full bar that offers beer and an assortment of liquors. It is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 a.m. and Sunday from noon to midnight. The venue seats nearly 100 people and features live entertainment, including rock and country music, on Fridays and Saturdays. It also features a 100-inch flat screen television, creating the perfect place to watch the big games.
Cherokee Casino Ramona’s design is reminiscent of the time period from 1887 to 1906, when Cherokees desired to maintain national existence by resisting the divide-and-conquer efforts of the U.S. During this time, the cattle industry was thriving, the first commercial oil well was drilled near Bartlesville and the tribes of Indian Territory proposed an all-Indian state called Sequoyah.
The casino’s featured artwork is a visual representation of allotment, the land run and impending statehood. The art displayed includes rifles from the late 1800s, the tribal newspaper, the state of Sequoyah seal and the state of Oklahoma seal. It showcases the commercialization of the cattle industry by featuring livestock branding irons from the time period, which were recreated from descriptions by Cherokee Nation Tribal Councilor Dick Lay’s family.
Two oil derricks at the casino’s main entrance signify the beginning of the petroleum industry in Indian Territory and Oklahoma. The derricks prominently display the Cherokee culture by telling the traditional story of the “Rise of the Phoenix” using Cherokee syllabary, the written language of Cherokees. The derricks were commissioned and designed by Cherokee National Treasure Bill Glass Jr. and his son Demos Glass. One derrick is currently on display, and the other will be installed this fall.
Cherokee Nation Entertainment is the wholly owned gaming, hospitality, retail and tourism entity of the Cherokee Nation. The company operates Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa; seven Cherokee Casinos, including a horse racing track; four hotels; two golf courses; and other retail operations. Cherokee Casino Ramona is located off of U.S. Highway 75 north of the Ramona exit.
For more information, call (918) 535-3800.
Cherokee Nation Entertainment News Release
Jennifer Hardesty 918-384-5988
Amanda Clinton 918-384-6944
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