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Oklahoma Business

First Resort: Chickasaw Nation Stakes Claim in Downtown OKC

4:37 AM EDT on October 22, 2021

The First Americans Museum has proven to be a great success in Oklahoma City, one that has wholly inspired and, even more so, fully proven to the Indigenous people of Oklahoma that we don’t need white permission to competently start and independently-run any of our own endeavors.

It’s a newfound freedom that’s enough to make the governor who's made us his mortal enemy cry in his multi-million dollar house.

It’s an entrepreneurial spirit that has inspire the forward-thinking Chickasaw Nation to move ahead with a $300 million dollar resort to be situated next to the First Americans Museum, called the OKANA Resort and Indoor Waterpark, with construction starting sometime in 2022; if I’m still alive by then, it might be the only time you’ll ever catch me on a waterslide.

From the Oklahoman:

“An 11-story, 404-room hotel is at the heart of the OKANA and will feature views of the river, the downtown skyline and an outdoor lagoon. The room sizes will range from 420 to 720 square feet, which the tribe describes as being larger than typical hotel rooms and will be designed to accommodate an average of four guests per room. The hotel also will include more than 100 suites.”

Makes me wish I had three other friends! Regardless, this hotel sounds like it’s going to put the Omni to shame, offering more of an added attraction for the museum than the actual city, which is something that I’m actually alright with, for the most part. It’s something that, even though he’s not saying it directly, Chickasaw Nation Gov. Bill Anoatubby seems to agree with.

"With this world-class First Americans Museum now in operation, we are ready to turn our focus to what we believe will be another significant tourism and hospitality venue,” Anoatubby said. “It is our vision that the OKANA Resort will enhance the experience for visitors from not only our region, but across North America and around the world.”

There is some uninformed online speculation that this waterpark hotel will be a front for a massive casino not seen since the likes of Biff Tannen. I guess some people think that’s all Natives are good for! But that's not going to happen anytime soon. With the exception of Remington Park, casinos are not allowed in Oklahoma City, an ordinance that I completely agree with and will continue to agree with.

And besides, with a game-changing museum next door—not to mention all the bonus features the hotel will offer, like a sanded beach area, family entertainment centers, and a retail hub complete with stores and restaurants—if you need to gamble that bad, I suggest calling 1-800-522-4700 because I’m willing to bet that you might have a serious problem.

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Follow Louis on Twitter at @LouisFowler and Instagram at @louisfowler78.

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