|By Roger McKinney, The Joplin Globe,
Mo.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News
June 13, 2012--QUAPAW, Okla. -- Downstream Casino Resort's second hotel will add at least 40 new jobs when it opens in December and 400 construction jobs while it's being built, casino officials said Wednesday.
The new hotel will be seven stories tall with 152 rooms. It will cost $50 million to build.
A second hotel has been part of the plan since the Quapaw Tribe announced its plans on May 14, 2007. The economic downturn delayed the start of the second hotel until this spring, said Sean Harrison, Downstream spokesman.
Downstream is located just west of Joplin, Mo., on Interstate 44.
The hotel announcement coincided with a grand opening celebration for the Downstream Q Store, a convenience store, gas station and RV park on the Missouri side of the resort property. The 8,000-square-foot building features all energy-efficient LED lighting. There is parking for 22 big trucks.
Harrison said the convenience store will have 20 permanent employees. He said though employment levels fluctuate, the addition will bring the operation's total employment to about 1,100.
The existing hotel has 222 rooms. The hotel and casino, representing a $301 million investment, opened on July 5, 2008.
Asked if the second hotel completes the original vision for Downstream, John Berrey, Quapaw Tribe chairman, said "no."
"There's more to come," Berrey said, adding that the vision may never be complete. "The reality is we needed the room. We were turning people away."
He said Downstream and the tribe will continue to work with area officials on projects, including water and sewer service in Cherokee County, Kan.
"We're excited," Berrey said. "We're hopeful that the economy's on the upswing. We want to be part of it."
The new hotel will include mostly standard-size rooms, along with 16 suites with king-size beds. Each of two, 1,500-square-foot hospitality suites will have two oversized bedrooms with king beds, a large dining area and living room, a meeting space and a bar.
The hotel also will have a spa, an indoor swimming pool, a coffee shop and a bakery.
The Buffalo Grille will relocate to the new hotel, with a private dining room and an outdoor dining area. The casino will use the area where the restaurant now is located to expand with a high-limit area for table games and electronic machines.
The tribe also owns Eagle Creek Golf Club.
DESIGN AND ARCHITECTURE of the new hotel were done by JCJ Architecture of Hartford, Conn. The general contractor is Manhattan Construction Group of Tulsa.
(c)2012 The Joplin Globe (Joplin, Mo.)
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