- Associated Press - Tuesday, June 28, 2016

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) - The Alabama-based Poarch Band of Creek Indians is expanding its casino business into Louisiana and Nevada.

The band’s PCI Gaming Authority has struck a deal to buy Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, Louisiana, near Shreveport. That deal is subject to approval by the Louisiana Gaming Control Board.

At the same time, the band has entered a separate partnership in a new casino outside Reno, Nevada.

PCI currently operates Wind Creek facilities in Montgomery, Wetumpka and Atmore, but this would be its first two casino operations outside the state.

Margaritaville is a 500,000-square-foot retail, entertainment and dining complex overlooking the Red River. It features a 395-room hotel, six restaurants and cafes, a spa, a performance hall and more, in addition to more than 1,000 slot machines and table games.

No purchase price was disclosed. The deal is expected to close before the end of the year.

“PCI’s success has been key to our ability to improve opportunit(ies) and increase services to our tribal members,” Tribal Chairwoman Stephanie Bryan said. “This acquisition will further our goal of building a great company . committed to the communities in which we operate.”

Last month, the band revealed a partnership with the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California in starting the new Wa She Shu casino outside Reno, Nevada.

That facility is a more modest 13,500 square feet, including a floor with 130 games, along with a restaurant and bar. The tribe said about 70 people work there, and more than half of them are Washoe tribal members.

“Opening a casino and partnering with the Poarch Band of Creek Indians is another step toward the Washoe Tribe’s long term goal of economic self-sufficiency,” Washoe Tribal Chair Neil Mortimer said. “The partnership between our Tribe and the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama is the first of its kind.”

Poarch Band leaders praised the casino’s potential impact on the Washoe Tribe and said they embraced the chance to help.

“Our Tribe knows all too well the challenges faced by the Washoe Tribe,” said Arthur Mothershed, vice president of business development for Wind Creek Hospitality. “Fortunately, in the last 10 years, we have been able to overcome many of those obstacles, and we are both honored and excited to have had the opportunity to share our good fortune and knowledge with the Washoe Tribe as their partners on this vitally important project.”

Wind Creek Montgomery completed a $65 million expansion in December. That included a 123-room luxury hotel, B.B. King’s Blues Club, Itta Bena restaurant and an expanded gaming floor. The expansion added about 200 jobs.

The Poarch Band is the only federally recognized Indian tribe in the state of Alabama, operating as a sovereign nation. Its members are descendants of a segment of the original Creek Nation, which once covered almost all of Alabama and Georgia. Members of the Tribe have lived together for almost 200 years in and around the reservation in Poarch.

They’ve been successful enough that the tribe offered the state a $250 million budget bailout as part of a gambling pact proposal last year.

At a December event, former longtime Tribal Chairman Eddie Tullis talked about the years of growth and the leadership roles taken on by tribal members.

“It’s a good testimony to the progress of the tribe,” Tullis said at the time. “It’s one of the things I’m really proud of.”

PCI Gaming also operates greyhound parks in Mobile and Pensacola, Florida, as well as an entertainment center in Gretna, Florida.

___

Information from: Montgomery Advertiser, https://www.montgomeryadvertiser.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide