JOPLIN, Mo. — A casino that sits in the tri-state area of Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas is adding a seven-story hotel to its casino complex that officials say will boost the local economy by bringing in hundreds of jobs into the area.
Downstream Casino Resort is planning to build a second hotel that will add 400 construction jobs and 40 casino-related employment jobs, said Sean Harrison, casino spokesman.
“The expansion takes aim at raising the bar for destination resorts in this part of the country,” Harrison said. “The extravagant amenities are designed to add to the overall attraction of the casino so as to reach beyond its current 100-mile radius.”
The casino and resort, operated by the Quapaw Tribe is located four miles west of Joplin, Mo., in the northeastern corner of Oklahoma with its parking lot located in Kansas and the main entrance located in Missouri.
With 2 million visitors a year to the casino, it quickly outgrew its current 222-room motel. The casino-resort employs more than 1,200 full-time workers and has a $42 million payroll, including benefits and tips.
“We have a strong economic impact in this region,” Harrison said referring to the tri-state area.
Harrison said the new $50 million hotel would be open in December and have 152 rooms, a spa and an indoor pool.
With the new hotel addition, the casino complex will include five restaurants and two motels. Since the tribe broke ground in 2008, the casino complex has put millions of dollars into the tri-state economy with construction costs and materials, Harrison said. Other recent additions include a convenience store, a gas station and an RV park, a fire station and a learning center, all built on the casino grounds.
“The first-rate preschool created 40 new jobs,” Harrison said.
Employees are from Oklahoma, Missouri, Arkansas and Kansas, he said. The jobs are considered good jobs, with the best benefits in this part of the country, Harrison said.
“About 20 percent of our workers are from Oklahoma,” Harrison said.
The casino also has an executive team composed of the best employees hand-picked from the West Coast to the East Coast, he said.
“We opened right before the 2008 recession and did well, but add to that the tornado that hit Joplin last year,” Harrison said. “We don't know what it is like to work in a good environment.”
“Even through a long and difficult recession we have done very well, and it is our hope we can continue to help build and share in a strengthening regional economy,' said John Berrey, Quapaw Tribe chairman and the Downstream Development Authority in a prepared statement.
Harrison said the gaming compact agreements with the state exceeded $5 million.
In addition to work force, the second wave of economic impact is from buying building materials from companies in the tri-state area, he said.
“We use (building) suppliers from Oklahoma as much as we can,” Harrison said.
Architecture is by Design and JCJ Architecture of Hartford, Conn. General contractor is Manhattan Construction Group of Tulsa.