A year ago billboards popped up all over central Oklahoma with a simple, yet unknowing message: “Be Swept Away.” At that time Oklahoma, and in particular the Oklahoma City metro area had no idea that message was a hint at what they would experience at the state’s largest, most sophisticated casino featuring world-class gaming and entertainment. Riverwind was not yet in our vocabulary and its level of service, and entertainment offerings were simply a figment of our collective imaginations.
A year later, glowing reviews have far outweighed even the most optimistic pre-opening buildup, we have truly been swept away. Riverwind, unique in design, food and entertainment options, is like a swath of the Las Vegas strip smack dab in the middle of Oklahoma, and people noticed. Riverwind has hosted over 300,000 new registered players, and throngs more since opening less than a year ago. Others noticed too. The organizers of the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) announced the Chickasaw Nation’s Riverwind Casino as the 2007 Global Gaming Expo G2E Institute winner for the Best Architectural Design for a Casino/Resort in its class.
“The great success we’ve experienced in our first year, has even exceeded our highest expectations,” said Chickasaw Nation Division of Commerce Chief Executive Officer Brian Campbell. “We felt that coupling a world-class facility with world-class customer service was a winning proposition, and according to the numbers of people filing through our doors daily, those thoughts have been more than validated.”
The thing about Riverwind is, those people could be, and are coming for any number of reasons: a 219,000 square foot casino featuring over 2,200 electronic games, over 50 blackjack and poker tables, an off-track betting lounge; the 1,500 seat Showplace Theater; the state’s largest buffet; upscale dining; a food court; ultimate fighting; movie premiers; poker tournaments and mega promotions including a $375,000 giveaway to name a few.
Mel Gibson premiered his movie Apocolypto at Riverwind, a charity event complete with Gibson and many of Apocolypto’s stars walking the red carpet. The event, and matching money from Gibson, benefited the Oklahoma Chapter of the Lupus Foundation of America, Oklahoma City Indian Clinic and the Tulsa Indian Healthcare Resource.
Headlining some of the 46 concerts at Riverwind in the past year were: Pat Benetar; Willie Nelson; Pat Green; Heart; B.B. King; Gladys Knight; the Commodores; Merle Haggard; Jewel and Credence Clearwater to name a few.
To celebrate a very successful first year, Riverwind has many events throughout August, all designed to give back to their patrons including: $350,000 Birthday Blowout on September 1, which includes seven cars, cash and prizes; A VIP birthday party on August 18; Senior Getaway Giveaway on August 29; Guy’s Night Ultimate Football Getaway Giveaway on August 31 and Ladies Night Queen for a Day Giveaway on September 3.
New for 2007 will be: Autographs Sports Bar featuring unmatched viewing of major sporting events from an array of high def plasma screens, opening in time for football in August; Play It Safe Game Show which will be bigger and better; a concert lineup featuring Al Green, Loretta Lynn, George Jones, Sinbad, Randy Travis, Kenny Loggins and Earth, Wind & Fire, and a Women’s Professional Billiards Association (WPBA) event, televised by ESPN in October.
Riverwind employs over 1,200 full and part-time individuals providing medical benefits, and contributes millions of dollars into the local and state economy. In conjunction with Multimedia Gaming, the Chickasaw Nation built a $1.7 million sewage treatment plant for the city of Goldsby, and a $2.1 million water tower for the city of Newcastle, infrastructure improvements that will benefit all of McClain County.
Net revenues support a myriad of programs and services for the citizens of the Chickasaw Nation including education, health care, nutrition, youth and elder care programs, scholarships and more.
The Riverwind Casino came blowing in, and brought an excitement, and an entertainment destination to the center of Oklahoma. On its one year birthday, the Riverwind continues to sweep us away.
Riverwind is located south of Norman, Oklahoma exit 106 off of Interstate 35. For information on upcoming concerts, entertainment and promotions visit www.riverwind.com or call 405-322-6000.
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