Chocktaw Resort Unveils Renovated Grand Tower With Texans In Mind

Written By Darren Cooper on September 25, 2023 - Last Updated on September 27, 2023
Photo of one of the renovated rooms in the Chocktaw Grand Tower on story of its reopening.

After a 15-month renovation project, the Grand Tower has reopened at the Choctaw Casino & Resort in Durant, OK.

And you can see the improvements all the way from Texas.

The large Native American casino in Southeast Oklahoma has always catered to a Texas clientele. Adding luxury rooms and more space makes it even more of a desirable overnight stop for Texans. Durant is approximately 95 miles away from Dallas-Fort Worth.

The Grand Tower was the first to be built on site in 2008 and had not been renovated since. It joins the Spa Tower and Sky Tower as the three main hotel locations.

Eighteen suites and 329 rooms in Grand Tower renovated

Like commercial casinos, Texas online casinos are nonexistent. While there are three tribal casinos in the state, most Texans travel out of state to play at casinos in Oklahoma, Louisiana and New Mexico.

The changes to the Grand Tower included a complete remodeling of the 18 suites and 329 rooms, Choctaw Casino & Resort-Durant regional director of marketing Kaley Green told PlayTexas.

“We feel like now was the perfect time to update the Grand Tower and make it feel as upscale and special as the Sky and Spa towers feel,” Green said. “We want all of our guests to get the same experience no matter which tower they choose to stay in, and the past few years we’ve really elevated what that standard of excellence is. With the Grand’s remodel, we feel like we are now at an extremely high level across the board.”

The rooms also feature work by Choctaw artists, most notably, Sarah Sense, who focuses her work on family history and Native American experiences.

The renovation project was completed in partnership with JCJ Architecture, which has worked with the Choctaw Nation on similar projects in the past.

In 2021, the tribe completed a $600 million renovation project with the construction of the 1,000-room Sky Tower and added 3,300 new slot machines, 40 new gaming tables, a power room, restaurants and pools.

Seeking those Lone Star big bucks

Since Texas has no Las Vegas-style casinos, Oklahoma casinos near the Texas border have thrived from Texans travelling there. The Choctaw chain has seven casinos, with Durant being the flagship – the city is also the headquarters of the Choctaw Nation. Choctaw-Durant has a massive gaming floor, with 7,400 slots total to play.

In the past, Choctaw representatives have said that two-thirds of their clients come from the Dallas-Fort Worth area and eight of 10 customers are Texas residents.

This fall, the company has also enlisted the services of Texas sports legends, most notably former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman, to lend their talents to the casino’s “Where the Players Play” promotional campaign.

Only way to go is bigger

Durant is 150 miles away from Oklahoma City and 220 from Hot Springs, AR. It has a metropolitan population of approximately 46,000 and is considered the magnolia capital of Oklahoma. The Choctaw Casino & Resort is a big part of the city’s identity since it opened in 2006.

Another casino location in the Oklahoma panhandle recently announced a $70 million expansion plan. The Golden Mesa Casino will update its casino floor, restaurant offerings and add an RV park. Golden Mesa is a reasonably short drive from Amarillo and Lubbock, Texas.

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Darren Cooper

Darren Cooper was born and raised in Southern Louisiana, just a short pirogue ride away from New Orleans. He started his journalism career at the New Orleans Times-Picayune and has been a writer and columnist in New Jersey since 1998. He's won 14 statewide press awards and earned his first Associated Press Sports Editors Top 10 award in 2022.

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