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Mar 20

From UrbanTulsa.com: Jimmy Buffett’s iconic brand is coming to the banks of the Arkansas River. Muscogee (Creek) Nation officials have announced plans to build a Margaritaville Casino and Resort near their existing River Spirit Casino in south Tulsa.

The estimated $250 million construction project will include a 500-room hotel tower, convention and theatre space, and a Margaritaville restaurant, bar and retail complex, Creek officials said in a March 19 news release — describing the project as “the largest private Arkansas River development in Tulsa’s history.”

“We’re excited that we’re going to be collaborating with the Margaritaville group. We feel like it’s a good mesh. We’re known for being leaders in the Indian gaming. … They’re known for being at the top of the entertainment part of the industry,” Principal Chief George Tiger said in an interview.

Construction has yet to start, but “initially, we’re looking at early fall, maybe around August” for work to begin, Tiger said, adding that the new site will be “just north of the present casino” and open probably in 2015. Existing casino operations will not be disrupted, he said.

Jimmy Buffett, 66, still draws large crowds as a touring musician. Crofts said Buffett’s agent is working to bring the singer to the BOK Center, with hopes of multiple visits before Buffett comes to town for the grand opening of the facility.

In a written statement, Buffett described his connection to Tulsa.

“I am happy to bring a few palm trees and frozen concoctions to the banks of the Arkansas River,” Buffett said in the statement. “The first time I ever saw Tulsa was from the stage at Cain’s ballroom awhile back. It is an honor to be returning as part of this great new entertainment complex in association with River Spirit and the Muscogee (Creek) Nation. I look forward to getting back to Tulsa and playing there again real soon.”

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