Cherokee Nation Businesses has hailed its purchase of Mississippi’s Gold Strike Tunica as a “historic day” and “natural evolution” for the company after officially adding the property to its roster yesterday.
The saw CNE Gaming, an indirect subsidiary of CNB, officially assume operations of the gaming venue after receiving approval from the Mississippi Gaming Commission.
“This is a historic day of growth for our hospitality portfolio as we enter the commercial gaming industry, and we welcome the wonderful team at Gold Strike to the family,” commented Mark Fulton, President and Chief Operating Officer of Cherokee Nation Entertainment.
“For years, we’ve set the standard of excellence in gaming. We are excited to invest in this beautiful property and bring our three decades of industry experience to guests in the Mid-South market.”
The $450m purchase from Mandalay Resort Group, a subsidiary of MGM Resorts International, also saw CNB enter into a triple-net lease agreement with Vici Properties.
Initial rent will be $40m, in line with the MGM reduction, and will have a term of 25-years as well as three 10-year tenant renewal options. Rent under the lease will escalate annually by two per cent.
“This acquisition is a natural evolution for our company. Building our business outside of Oklahoma is a huge step that strengthens our ability to boost the Cherokee Nation economy while also building on our reputation of being a strong community partner and industry leader,” said Chuck Garrett, President and Chief Executive Officer of Cherokee Nation Businesses.
“We’re looking forward to sharing that commitment with the people of Mississippi by also investing in their communities and contributing to the local economy.”
Gold Strike Casino Resort is located on the Mississippi River, approximately 30 minutes from downtown Memphis, with operations set to continue as usual, and the more than 1,100 team members retained.
“Patrons of Gold Strike have become accustomed to the excitement and southern hospitality they receive when they walk through our doors. Our plan is to build on that and exceed those high expectations every day,” noted Max Fisher, General Manager of Gold Strike.
“We are looking forward to the new opportunities for providing a world-class experience to all of our patrons and continue leading the industry in our region.”