Golden Mesa Casino celebrates grand opening, ribbon cutting

Staff Writer

On Thursday morning in a grand opening ceremony at the Golden Mesa Casino, several dignitaries, public officials and tribal leaders were recognized following several years of work to obtain approvals at the federal level, along with efforts to work alongside state, county and city officials for a successful opening event.
Chickasaw Nation Governor Bill Anoatubby, Shawnee Chief Ron Sparkman and Shawnee Chief-Elect Ben Barnes were present during the special event, a culmination of the efforts to open the Shawnee Tribe’s first gaming facility in Oklahoma.
The grand opening included speeches from Gov. Anoatubby and Chief Sparkman, along with others directly involved in the success of the project. The ceremony was immediately followed by a reception where guests were treated to locally catered treats. The full-day event included giveaways as gamers spent the day playing the slots.
Chief-Elect Barnes said the Shawnee knew coming to Texas County would be a long process.
“The community has been welcoming from the very beginning. We’ve found nothing but friendships here in Texas County.,” Barnes said.
Barnes arrives in the county most days just to enjoy Guymon and get to know the people.
“I’ve come here several times, and like most folks in this county, I wear jeans and boots and they don’t know who I am. We’ll travel up here, we’ll sit in a restaurant, we’ll go to gas stations… as the second chief, I’ve got to travel all over the United States. I’ve never met friendlier people than I have here in Texas County,” Barnes continued.
Barnes added that the Shawnee are committed to the community, pointing out the large investment already made.
“We’re happy to be here and we’re excited to be your neighbors,” Barnes said.
To read more about the grand opening and about the casino, be sure to grab a Friday edition of the GDH.

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