Patrick Lambert: Eastern Cherokees in talks for outlet mall and more at casino

Chief Patrick Lambert of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Photo from Facebook

Chief Patrick Lambert of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians outlines plans for an outlet mall, a convention center and a new hotel at the Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort in North Carolina. He also shares discussion of a potential third casino on the reservation:
By partnering with the Cordish company, we have a leg up on getting this “new” type of business development to kick into gear here in our town. And, without their partnership we have nearly a zero chance of attracting these type retail businesses to locate here.

We have always had to drive for over an hour to buy a suit or a dress but with this new development we could finally have those retail stores right here in Cherokee. This will not only provide us with new jobs and a new diversified tax base for our Tribal Levy, but will also add a newer and higher quality of life to our overall community by providing the type of amenities in shopping and retail that we have all come to need and expect.

We are also beginning to draw up plans on the development of a new convention center and hotel that will be capable of hosting large conferences. The reason being that every year our Tribe loses out on at least $15 million dollars annually because the casino lacks convention space and hotel rooms to house customers. With competition looming we should be pushing to capture every penny we can. The new convention/hotel center is important because it helps us prepare and stay ahead of potential competition that could come to our south or east. If we can capture some of that market and turn them into our loyal customers now, we will have a better chance of holding our market share if competition does arrive in the Atlanta market or other areas.

As an additional use of the convention center we are exploring the idea of making it capable of holding major sporting tournaments. With the increased hotel room space we can start inviting our sister tribes and other communities to major sporting tournaments and actually be able to offer them a room. For example, we have two events within the next couple of months, NAYO tournament and the Annual USET Conference, and neither of these events can be housed at our current hotel due to the demand just from our gaming customers.

Get the Story:
Patrick Lambert: Chief’s Monthly Report for June (The Cherokee One Feather 7/5)

Related Stories
Eastern Cherokee youth push for change in gaming per capita (06/30)
Eastern Cherokees bring benefits to community with new casino (06/17)
Eastern Cherokees urged to bring more retail options to casino (06/15)

Join the Conversation