CATOOSA, OK: Cherokee Nation Enterprises (CNE) CEO David Stewart has announced plans for a $60 million expansion of its gaming operations in Oklahoma. CNE has hired The Titan Network of Atlanta for services that go beyond traditional public relations and marketing.
"We are looking to change the style of gaming to create a Las Vegas-style destination," said Stewart. "We have a good, solid customer base, but in order to drive the economics of the project, we need to engage a new audience."
Titan will provide business counseling to help CNE identify gaming participants and determine operational details, including how the facility will be laid out, the look and feel of the hotel property, retail opportunities, and what kind of restaurant to build inside the facility.
According to Titan CEO Tony DeMartino, the agency has already initiated a market-sizing study within a 300-mile radius of CNE's flagship gaming facility in Catoosa.
As state gambling laws have become more flexible over the past decade, casino operations on Native American lands have become increasingly competitive - and far more corporate.
Steve Rittvo, president of The Innovation Group, a gaming, lodging, and leisure consulting company, said that the rise of Native American gaming has slowed the growth in off-Strip Las Vegas venues, and has even resulted in declines in gambling centers like Reno, NV.
Titan has retained Rittvo and Doug Pattison, former CEO of the Choctaw-run Silver Star Resort in Mississippi, to consult on the CNE account. Titan president Michael Gavenchak also has expertise in Indian gaming.