What's under the tent at the Fort Sill Apache Casino?

There have been some changes going on at the Fort Sill Apache Casino.  They've been putting an addition on - while managing to stay open for business.  A huge tent has been built around the current casino while they're under construction.

The question most people who've driven by the casino have is - What is going on?  How are they going to get the old building out of the massive steel structure they're building around it?  Supposedly, although it will be difficult, it will disappear - piece by piece.  "They'll be taken out and hauled off in smaller pieces, there'll be a door over here along the west elevation of the building," said Mark Dube, J.E. Dunn Superintendent.

The crew is working from the east side of the building to the west side, taking existing wall down as they go, and they'll drag the pieces out the door  It may seem as if it would be easier and more cost effective to simply tear it down and start from scratch.  But, they say - anyone can do that.  Besides, closing down wasn't an option.  "We're determined to keep the front doors open," says Dunn.

Not only that, but, circumstances with the Tribal Trust Land won't allow them to build somewhere else.  "Federal Law prohibits us from having gaming outside of these boundaries, this particular 23,000 square feet," says the Casino's General Manager Darrell Nott.  Nott says their customers are "fanatically loyal and he didn't want to disappoint them, not to mention the casino's employees.  "We have great employees here.  We couldn't lay them off for six months to a year."

Even though it's just a tent right now, the casino is being rebuilt to wow guests.  "Inside is where we plan to knock your socks off," says Nott.  There will be a new café, a new slot club, a new main cage and more.  They've also purchased some land from the state that may be used for future expansions.  They hope to be done renovating by the end of the year.