Cherokee Nation officially launches the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino
Streamers exploded in the grand lobby of the Cherokee Casino Resort after dignitaries announced the official opening of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tulsa.
Keynote speakers Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chad Smith, Cherokee Nation Entertainment CEO David Stewart, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino representatives and superstar Toby Keith, owner of the recently opened Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill in the casino, noted the significance of opening the only Hard Rock in the Heartland of America and only the seventh Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in the world.
On display at the property is a more than $2 million rock-inspired music memorabilia collection capitalizing on the world-famous Hard Rock Hotel & Casino brand.
Cherokee Nation is the sole owner of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, which will be operated by Cherokee Nation Entertainment. The new resort features 350 luxury hotel rooms and suites; more than 125,000 square feet of gaming space; five dining venues, including Toby Keith’s I Love This Bar & Grill and McGill’s on 19, a fine-dining penthouse restaurant; and five nightclubs and entertainment venues, including the 2,500-seat Hard Rock Hotel & Casino event center scheduled to open in 2010.
“Entertainment in Tulsa is now synonymous with Hard Rock Hotel & Casino,” said Stewart. “With the Cherokee Nation’s commitment of $155 million in developing the new resort and the branding opportunity with Hard Rock, we have made a long-term investment for our community and state. This venture brings together a unique blend of Cherokee culture, Oklahoma’s rich musical history and classic rock and roll. We’ve created an experience that cannot be duplicated anywhere else.”
In addition, the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino features the Sky Room, a more than 5,000-square-foot banquet facility enclosed with floor-to-ceiling Chevron glass on the 18th floor; more than 35,000 square feet of meeting space; a Hard Rock Store stocked with new and traditional favorite Hard Rock merchandise and souvenirs; the Cherokee Hills Golf Club championship golf course located adjacent to the property; and a soon-to-open Hard Rock Las Vegas-inspired swimming pool set for the fall.
The new Hard Rock Hotel tower will add more than 200 posh rooms and suites to the property, including several Hard Rock suites and a Chief’s suite.
Oklahoma ranks best in cost of living
Oklahoma can add another ranking to its belt after CNBC.com ranked the state No. 1 in cost of living compared to the rest of the nation.
The online news site evaluated each state in 10 categories, including cost of living for its ability to drive down the cost of doing business, for its third America's Top States for Business '09.
“This is a highly coveted ranking and extremely important when trying to attract new businesses to the region,” said Jim Fram, senior vice president of economic development for the Tulsa Metro Chamber. “By keeping our cost of living low, we make it easier for businesses to survive and thrive in the state.”
Oklahoma had the third best economy, and was ninth in the cost of doing business. The state also ranked relatively high, at 16, for business friendliness. Overall, the state came in at No. 23.
All 50 states were scored using publicly available data on 40 different measures of competitiveness. States received points based on their rankings in each metric. Those metrics were then separated into the 10 broad categories, with input from business groups like the National Association of Manufacturers. The categories were weighted based on how frequently each is cited in state economic development marketing materials.
For a complete list of the rankings, visit CNBC.com.
Mayor discusses green issues with TYPros
Mayor Kathy Taylor addressed a crowd of nearly 100 young professionals and other Tulsans last week at the OU-Tulsa Campus Learning Center during an event hosted by TYPros as part of its GreenSpeak series. Taylor discussed ways in which the city is engaged in becoming eco-friendly and how young professionals can assist with the effort.
“We are looking at a lot of beginning steps that have been made,” Taylor said. “There is a lot more than can be done, and we welcome your voice about where you think this city should be headed when it comes to a sustainability policy.”
Taylor highlighted a number of efforts, including consolidating city offices into the energy-efficient One Technology Center and implementing an office of sustainability for the City of Tulsa, as well as plans for the future. In addition, the mayor cited two issues she wants young professionals to know about and assist with: the ReGreen Tulsa Initiative and the city’s trash pick-up policy.
The ReGreen Tulsa Initiative was established following the December 2007 ice storm, which heavily damaged thousands of trees in Tulsa. The program is a joint effort of the city and Up With Trees to plant 20,000 trees by December 2010.
The trash pick-up policy has much room for improvement, said Taylor, who believes the current policy makes it too easy to dispose of a lot of trash and too difficult to recycle. Information about both the ReGreen Tulsa Initiative and the city’s trash service is available on the city’s Web site, www.cityoftulsa.org.
Further information is available online for Tulsa businesses and citizens seeking to be more energy efficient. Visit www.begreentulsa.com.
Tulsa Ballets heads to the Big Apple
The Tulsa Metro Chamber and the Oklahoma Department of Commerce have partnered to help sponsor a Tulsa Ballet performance in New York City during the company’s “Big Apple Tour,” marking its first New York performance in 25 years.
“The Chamber and our co-hosts are proud to sponsor a performance of the Tulsa Ballet’s Big Apple Tour. We have invited site location consultants and corporate real estate executives in New York City to attend the performance so they can experience one of the many treasures the Tulsa region has to offer,” said Jim Fram, senior vice president of economic development for the Tulsa Metro Chamber.
Tulsa Ballet will present seven performances at New York City's Joyce Theater — the only theater in the Big Apple devoted entirely to dance — Aug. 10-15. The last time the company performed in New York was 1983.
For its return engagement, Tulsa Ballet will perform three works that are relatively recent additions to the company's repertoire: Sir Kenneth MacMillan's "Elite Syncopations," which the company performed for the first time in March; Nacho Duato's "Por vos Muero," which was part of the 2006-2007 season; and "This Is Your Life," Young Soon Hue's creation for Tulsa Ballet that premiered as part of the 2008 "About Tango" program.
An Opening Night Gala Patron Reception will be held following the Aug. 10 performance, at the Viceroy Cafe in New York City.
Gov. Brad Henry and Tulsa Mayor Kathy Taylor will be among the guests at this event.
Other events planned for the week include a patrons’ brunch Aug. 11, post-performance receptions following the Aug. 12 and 13, and a special salute to Tulsa Ballet dancers following the Aug. 15 performances.
The Chamber partnered with the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and the Oklahoma Business Roundtable to sponsor the performance as an economic development marketing opportunity to help attract new businesses to the region. When companies are making the decision to relocate, quality of life attributes like an outstanding ballet company make Tulsa an attractive option.
For more information about the Tulsa Ballet Big Apple Tour, call 749-6030 or online at tulsaworld.com/tulsaballet.
Tulsa Ballet will present a “Big Apple Preview,” performing Nacho Duato’s “Por vos Muero” and two ballets created for the company, at 7 p.m. Thursday at Tulsa Ballet, 1212 E. 45th Place.
Single tickets are $75-$125; call 749-6030 for more information.
To read the complete Tulsa World article about the tour, click here.
Chamber welcomes new businessesEach month the Tulsa Metro Chamber's Hospitality Club welcomes new businesses and new Chamber members to the community by assisting with ribbon cuttings and groundbreaking announcements.
219 S. Cheyenne
Mr. Mehdi Khezri, general Manager & co-owner
Phone: (918) 499-1919
7392 S. Olympia
David Biederman, owner
Phone: (303) 592-3800