North Carolina: Catawba Nation’s Kings Mountain Casino project faces delays, raises concerns among local businesses

The Kings Mountain Casino project, spearheaded by the Catawba Nation, has been plagued by setbacks, leaving business owners in the vicinity concerned about the impact on their customer influx.

A dispute with the project developer has significantly hampered progress, raising apprehensions among local business proprietors, WSOC-TV reported, citing a Channel 9 report.

While a temporary casino has been in operation for the past two years, work on the permanent casino, which was expected to be open by now, has been slow to materialize. The mound of dirt behind the temporary casino stands as a testament to ongoing construction efforts, the report said.

Catawba Two Kings, operators of the casino, have reported that the temporary facility has been attracting substantial crowds and yielding occasional large payouts. The forthcoming permanent casino, which is anticipated to be at least three times larger, holds the potential to further stimulate the local economy.

Business proprietors in the vicinity of Grover, where there are no slot machines, are hopeful that the permanent casino will lead to an overflow of visitors, boosting their enterprises.

“We are off the beaten path. There not much around us,” Linda Brackett, owner of Carolina Crossings restaurant, was quoted as saying in the report.

Already, they have witnessed an uptick in business due to the construction workers laboring on the permanent resort and casino.

“We are seeing about a 25%, 30% percent increase already,” Brackett said.

As construction proceeds, business owners like Brackett, believe they could experience another significant uptick in patronage, potentially as high as 30%, once the project reaches completion.

However, the project has been significantly delayed due to an ongoing dispute between the Catawba Nation and their chosen developer. Originally, construction on the permanent casino was slated to commence in 2022, with the Catawba Nation’s estimated completion by this year. The 400-bed resort was anticipated to be finished as early as 2024 or as late as 2025. These estimations have now been pushed back by at least two years.

The Chief of the Catawba Nation has assured stakeholders that they are diligently working to resolve the dispute and expedite the project, promising tangible progress in the near future.

The Catawba Nation opened its casino in July 2021, and it now has 1,000 gambling machines, including electronic table games.