River Spirit Casino Resort, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s flagship resort in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Photo Courtesy River Spirit for Native Business)
Uber is the most expensed brand overall for business travelers, and the ride-sharing service has accumulated a massive trove of data that tracks where people are traveling most frequently across the United States.
The widespread use of the ride-hailing app is even affecting the way we evaluate the popularity of destinations like stadiums and casinos.
River Spirit Casino Resort recently added another accolade to its list of honors and recognitions: the number one Uber destination in the state of Oklahoma for 2019.
That comes on the heels of River Spirit Casino Resort being named the number one resort in Tulsa and the state of Oklahoma in 2019 by US News and World Report.
And for the third consecutive year, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s flagship resort was once again named a AAA Four Diamond Award destination, joining the top 6% of all AAA-approved properties in North America.
River Spirit Casino Resort garnered the designation as the most Uber’d destination in Oklahoma for the second consecutive year.
“We are gratified to receive this honor despite being closed for 30 days during May and June due to historic flooding of the Arkansas River,” said Pat Crofts, CEO of Muscogee (Creek) Nation Casinos.
In the wake of the flood in May-June 2019, and decision to remain closed, Crofts and the River Spirit Casino Resort leadership team demonstrated the integrity and compassion of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and its gaming arm by choosing to commit to maintaining its $2.5 million bi-monthly payroll for the 1,600 area employees while the resort was not operational.
“We made a decision while we were shut down to pay all of our employees their full salary and benefits,” Crofts told Native Business.
In addition to paying its core staff, more than 400 restoration workers took on three shifts per day over the course of 24 hours to remediate the property, which reopened to the public on June 21, 2019.
The resort rebounded well — as the most Uber’d destination in Oklahoma award reflects, demonstrating the resort’s appeal despite its 30-day closure.
Today, the Muscogee (Creek) Nation operates 11 gaming facilities throughout northeastern Oklahoma, the largest of which is River Spirit Casino Resort.
The flagship property opened in 2009, and the $365 million expansion debuted in phases starting in August 2016, doubling the gaming space with the attached Margaritaville Casino. “It’s a fantastic facility in Tulsa,” Crofts told Native Business, adding, “That was a first for both Margaritaville and Ruth’s Chris — being in a Tribal casino environment. It was also a big deal bringing international companies like that to Tulsa.”
Early 2017 marked the opening of the resort’s stunning 27-floor all-glass hotel tower, in addition to a special-events venue, an upscale spa, a resort pool, a 2,500-seat showroom theater, and multiple new bars and restaurants. Within its first six months of opening, the hotel garnered the prestigious Four Diamond Award from AAA.
As Crofts looks ahead, he notes, “We are looking forward to another record-setting year in 2020.”