Catawba Nation breaks ground on $700 million casino


North Carolina Construction News staff writer

The Catawba Nation this week announced the start of construction on a $700 million permanent casino resort in Kings Mountain, about 35 minutes from downtown Charlotte.

Catawba Nation Chief Brian Harris was joined by about 400 people, including many tribal members, for a ground-breaking ceremony.

“This groundbreaking represents not just the physical construction of a building, but the realization of a dream, the embodiment of hard work and dedication, and the celebration of our rich cultural heritage,” Harris said at the ceremony. “For too long, the Catawba Indian Nation has faced challenges and barriers to economic development, but today, we are breaking ground not just on a casino, but on a path toward empowerment and self-determination.

“The development of this casino is a significant milestone for the Catawba Indian Nation and the residents of Cleveland County and the City of Kings Mountain as it symbolizes our ability to come together and create opportunities for economic growth and prosperity in a way that is deeply rooted in our traditions and values.Design plans are now finalized and initial financing is in place for the project after the Catawba Nation finalized the private settlement with its former developer, Sky Boat Gaming, in early May, removing the firm from any interest in the project.

Work has been completed on two key infrastructure projects for development of the permanent casino resort that were funded by the Catawba Nation: doubling the size of the Dixon School Road Bridge over I-85 near the casino entrance and installing new sewer lines near the casino.

YatesMetcon, a joint venture of Yates Construction Co. and Metcon Buildings & Infrastructure, both North Carolina based, will serve as the general contractor for the project.

The permanent casino resort, which will be about 2 million square feet at full buildout, will be completed in two main phases: Introductory Casino – This phase will be constructed at ground level with 1,350 slots/ETGs, 12 table games and a restaurant with 40 seats that will include a sportsbook area with 30 self-service kiosks. In addition, supporting back-of-house space for surveillance, security, the cage and part of the first two floors of the parking garage (1,600 spots) will be completed above the ground level.

Construction will be completed by early 2026.

Construction will then begin on the 400-room hotel and the remainder of the casino complex, which will be stacked above the ground floor. The hotel tower will be a separate structure that is connected to the casino complex to maximize the patron experience.

The casino complex will feature three levels of parking (floors 2-4), an entire floor devoted to back of house operations and offices, and the main casino floor and restaurants on top.

At full buildout, the main casino complex will be about 2 million square feet with:

  • 4,300 slots
  • 100 table games
  • Five restaurants, players lounge, six bars, including a center bar and sports bar


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