Construction underway for Ponca casino near Perry

Construction workers work on the Fancy Dance Casino, to be operated by Ponca Enterprise Gaming, at the junction of Interstate 35 and U.S. 412 on Friday, Sept. 6, 2019. (Billy Hefton / Enid News & Eagle)

PERRY, Okla. — Construction is underway of the Fancy Dance Casino near Perry, according to Ponca Enterprise Gaming, a subsidiary of the Ponca Tribe of Indians of Oklahoma.

Ponca Enterprise Gaming announced in May that the casino, which will open at the intersection of Interstate 35 and U.S. 412, is expected to be completed in 9 months.

Frankfurt-Short-Bruza Associates is serving as the project's architect, CP&Y, Inc. as the engineering firm and Timberlake Construction as the general contractor, all of which are Oklahoma City firms. Woodward-based Cardinal Engineering is the civil engineer of choice.

"The new Fancy Dance Casino will be a source of revenue and stable employment for the Ponca Tribe and residents for years to come," Richard Lonsinger, Ponca Enterprise Gaming CEO said. "The selection of three Oklahoma-based companies is a prime example of how quickly it will begin making a difference for Oklahomans. We're proud to be the source of such great economic impact not only to surrounding counties but also to our tribe's members."

Upon completion, the 10,000-square-foot building will house nearly 290 electronic gaming machines, and employ 90 full-time and part-time employees, the statement said.

Global Gaming Solutions, a Chickasaw Nation business specializing in casino operation, is acting as developer and consultant for Fancy Dance Casino.

"The expertise Global Gaming Solutions brings to the Fancy Dance Casino ensures future patrons will have the best possible experience when they visit," Lonsinger said. "We're happy to have the opportunity to work with leading industry experts, and we look forward to providing a top-notch entertainment experience to residents and visitors."

In 2018, Enid was considered as the site of another casino. The United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma was looking to strike a deal with the city of Enid to build a gaming facility at 730 S. 9th on the town's east side.

In December 2018, city commissioners voted against the proposal, citing the potential for increased crime, among other things.

An attorney for the tribe said that it did not need the city's approval to go through with the project but would have preferred to have it. With approval from the governor's office, the UKB could have the land placed into a trust, set aside for use by the tribe, the attorney said. No such approval for the land has been granted at this point, according to the city.

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Willetts is education and city reporter for the Enid News & Eagle.
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