© 2021 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
PRT Header Color
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Local & Regional

River Spirit to Be Closed 1-to-2 Weeks; Employees Will be Paid


Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief James Floyd and River Spirit Casino Resort Chief Executive Officer Pat Crofts toured the Resort property today with local, state and federal officials. The Resort closed on Wednesday, May 22 at 2 pm as a result of the increased rise in the Arkansas River.

Barring no water level increase from the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers, Crofts announced the Resort would remain closed through next week, Friday, May 31, 2019, allowing for the water level to recede.

Joining Chief Floyd and Crofts were joined by Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum, U.S. Rep. Kevin Hern, County Commissioner Karen Keith, Tulsa City Councilor’s Phil Lakin, Jeannie Cue, and Connie Dodson, and Tulsa Fire Chief Officer Michael Baker. The group toured the first floor of the Resort including the main floor of the hotel, Margaritaville restaurant and casino, the pool deck and the top floor of the north parking garage.

“Working together with our partner government officials is key to ensure each are informed of the economic impact of this event as state and federal disaster areas are assessed,” Chief Floyd said.

The Resort employs more than 1,600 workers in the Tulsa region with a bi-weekly payroll of approximately $2.5 million. Another 200 employees are supported by the Margaritaville and Ruth’s Chris restaurants.

“Remaining in contact with our employees is a top priority right now. Our Board approved today the commitment to maintain payroll for our employees as the status of the Resort continues to develop,” Crofts said.

“All facilities on the property remain structurally sound and, as designed, are withstanding the current level of release of 250,000 cubic feet per second from the Keystone Dam. We accounted for the possibility of a 100-year-flood and beyond,” Crofts said.

Current status as of 4:30 pm on Friday, May 24:

  • The spread of the water from the Arkansas River is currently impacting the south parking lot and the subterranean parking garage at a 612 elevation level.
  • The ground level south to north driveway in front of the subterranean parking garage has water and is not accessible.
  • The North Parking garage is not accessible due to water blocking the driveway entries.
  • The Fred Creek flood channel is maintaining level and is not overflowing its containment.
  • Level 00 is an elevation of 616. The water has impacted this level which contains the loading docks, storage area and mechanical management, which are below the elevation of 616.
  • The Resort Pool deck is an elevation of 615, which is the current water level. The water has not reached the interior of the swimming pool, Tiki Bar Dining, or Resort Spa, but has entered the edges of this level.
  • The Resort Hotel, Margaritaville Restaurant and Casino are at an elevation level of 628 and is in no danger of being compromised by the water. This level is 13 feet higher than the Resort pool deck.
  • Guests scheduled to stay through Monday, May 27 have been notified of the closure.
  • Ticket holders for the Saturday, May 25 event, Southern Momma, have been notified of cancellation for refunds.