Just before coronavirus began dominating the news cycle last month, the U.S. Department of the Interior approved a proposal from the Catawba Indian Nation to build a casino complex on 16.57 acres in Kings Mountain.
“The Nation is very thankful for the Department’s decision to take this land into trust, enabling us to achieve the promise of self-determination though economic development,” said Catawba Chief William Harris in a statement.
According to plans, the entertainment facility will cost $273 million.
Timeline: The tribe has not provided an exact target grand opening date, but it’ll be in several years. Once plans are finalized, construction is estimated to take well over a year. “We will share the timeline as quickly as possible, but do plan to have the casino opening as quickly as possible,” says Elizabeth Harris, a Catawba Indian Nation representative.
It’s unclear how the coronavirus outbreak will impact the planning or construction timeline. Last month, the Catawbas said all tribal meetings and events would be canceled through at least April 30.
Details: Proposed plans call for a 195,000-square-foot mixed use development with over 75,000 square feet of gaming space. The casino will have 1,796 slots, 54 table games, and a player’s club, along with restaurants and bars with a total of 940 seats. It’ll be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It’s not yet clear whether or not there will be a sports book.
“In order to have those types of games we have to negotiate a gaming compact with the North Carolina Governor’s office,” Elizabeth Harris tells the Agenda. “We plan to begin working with them on getting a compact in place.”
Location: The new casino will be in Kings Mountain, right off of Interstate 85 at Dixon School Road. It’s 35 miles from Uptown. Plans for the project call for about 1,110 surface-level parking spaces and a five-story parking deck, which will have 1,020 spaces.
Neighboring business: “We think this is going to be very positive for all businesses in the area,” says Monique Sullivan founder of Veronét Vineyards & Winery, which is just a few miles away from the casino site.
“We really love how our vineyard is a great day trip and escape for people from Charlotte, and so many hikers from Crowders are coming out to enjoy nature with a morning hike and then spending the afternoon with us. Now when you add the casino, we think it’s going to contribute a lot of momentum to the area.”
(Veronét temporarily closed its doors on March 17, in compliance with the state’s stay at home order.)