From Tulsa World: “Margaritaville promises to be ‘big, really big’ for Tulsa”
Just inside the Margaritaville hotel’s cavernous front lobby, with an elegant check-in desk on one side and a concierge station on the other, Pat Crofts was watching video footage on a giant TV screen — 50 feet across and 16 feet tall, from the floor to the ceiling.
It was showing glitzy images of London and the Rocky Mountains and other “travel destinations” around the world. But later this week, it will be showing newly edited shots of Tulsa. Because on Thursday, when the public gets to walk past this big screen for the first time, Tulsa is going to be the travel destination, pulling tourists from across the region if not across the country.
“Tulsa doesn’t know what’s about to hit it,” Crofts said, silhouetted against the screen’s flickering light. “I mean, this is going to be big. Really big.”
With a 27-story glass tower overlooking the Arkansas River near 81st Street, the finished resort will include a 483-room hotel with a tropical theme unlike anything else in Tulsa, featuring poolside cabanas, palm trees, fire pits and a Margaritaville “Tiki Bar.” Turn left from the main entrance, and the hallway leads to the existing River Spirit Casino. Turn right and it leads to the new 50,000-square-foot Margaritaville casino and restaurant with Jimmy Buffett’s “fun-in-the-sun” aesthetic — a volcano erupts lava into a giant blender while a seaplane swoops low over the dining room.
The hotel won’t open until December; the theater and the outdoor area next to the river won’t be ready until 2017.
“People are blown away by what they’ve seen already,” said Senior Program Manager Randall Hull, who led the tour. “But they haven’t seen everything yet. Just wait.”