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Quapaws break ground on casino complex 8-07

QUAPAW, Okla. (AP) - A $200 million casino and hotel is expected to
have a major economic impact on the northeastern tip of Oklahoma and
southwestern Missouri.

The Quapaw Tribe of Oklahoma broke ground Tuesday on the proposed
Downstream Casino and Hotel, which will sit on 140 acres skirting the
Oklahoma, Missouri and Kansas borders. Completion is expected in
summer 2008.

The casino, located north of Interstate 44, will have more than
70,000 square feet of floor space, and more than 2,000 slot machines,
30 table games and 15 poker tables, officials said.

Quapaw tribal chairman John Berrey said the facility will employ more
than 1,200 full-time employees and have an annual payroll of $35
million.

“It's almost hard for us to fathom that we are here today,” Berrey
said. “We intend to be transparent and to protect the integrity of
our gaming.”

The 3,200-member tribe will build the casino and hotel on allotment
land acquired from tribal members. Additional access to the site has
also been discussed with the Oklahoma Department of Transportation,
Berrey said.

Ottawa County will have 11 casinos, including the smaller Quapaw
Casino just north of Miami, when the Downstream Casino and Hotel is
finished.

Miami Mayor Brent Brassfield said he planned on the new Quapaw casino
having a significant impact on his city's economy, as well that of
nearby Joplin, Mo.

“We're not talking about some small entity here; this casino will
have an economic impact in a 100-mile radius,” he said.

Meanwhile, the tribe will partner with nearby Loma Linda Country Club
to offer 36 holes of golf, officials said. Bobby Landis, owner and
chief executive officer of Loma Linda, said their agreement is a
“win-win” situation.

“We're looking forward to make some updates and improvements to the
courses, and we anticipate new business from out-of-state visitors,”
Landis said.

Manhattan Construction is the builder and JCJ Architects Inc. of New
York is the site's designer.

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Information from: Tulsa World, http://www.tulsaworld.com
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