WYANDOTTE – Growth was on display Friday, Sept. 29, as officials with the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma celebrated the completion of the newest hotel tower at Indigo Sky Casino.
The event, five years after the facility first opened, marked the end of the $34 million project which added 127 rooms to the property, including two executive suites, and a grand ballroom.
“It’s a significant day for the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma," Melanie Chase, Indigo Sky Assistant General Manager said. “We are proud we are creating opportunities for employment and commerce due to our expansion.
"This not only helps Ottawa County in Oklahoma, but Newton County in Missouri as well.”
Indigo Sky, which sits near Seneca, Missouri on Highway 60, boasts 247 hotel rooms, a pool, fitness center, 1275 gaming machines, poker, off-track betting, table games, bingo, three food venues, two bars, as well as banquet and conference spaces.
Eastern Shawnee Chief Glenna Wallace reminded those attending of the history of the tribe and the struggles they endured to get where they are now.
“The Eastern Shawnee didn’t arrive here with bags of money,” Wallace said referring to the removal of the tribe from Ohio in 1832 to Indian Territory.
The new tower, named Sycamore tower, also features the tribe’s seal and ribbon work on the outside of the building, as envisioned by Wallace who said she wanted it to have an obvious Native American look.
“I look at these buildings behind me and I look at this courtyard and it is beyond my imagination," Wallace said. "It is something that I never as a child or young adult could have fathomed."
Like the first hotel tower, known as the Red Bud, the new Sycamore tower showcases works by local artist Doug Hall, who is internationally known for his paintings of Native Americans.
A ceiling high tile mural of one of Hall's paintings is featured in the entrance between the two towers.
Tribal officials presented both Hall, and his mother Rebecca Hall, with gifts of appreciation before the formal ribbon cutting and open house celebration.
Indigo Sky, which opened on Sept. 5, 2012, is one of three gaming properties owned and operated by the Eastern Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma, which collectively employ approximately 700 people.
The tribe also owns Bordertown Casino & Arena and the Outpost Casino. This year, the tribe will mark 33 years of gaming. The tribe's last expansion project in 2015 saw a complete revamping of Boardertown, which sits along the Missouri/Oklahoma state line.
The 18-month project, which began in June 2016, was a collaboration with Crossland Construction and ENCOMPASS Design and Development, with the architecture firm Thalden, Boyd and Emery providing the design.
Cheryl Franklin is the publisher of the Miami News-Record, The Grove Sun, The Delaware County Journal and the Cherokee County News-Advocate.