Background and Context
The First Council Otoe Tribe established a permanent casino in 2008 which served as a very profitable venture. They drew a large crowd from Wichita and were very satisfied with the immediate success of the casino. With such success, they began hosting live entertainment and concerts from a temporary tent structure, quickly realizing that they needed to expand their permanent facility to capture additional gaming, a permanent event venue and hotel for their guests. They knew exactly what worked for them, exactly what they wanted in a permanent addition, and exactly what needed to be delivered in terms of a Design-Build relationship.
Joining a Design-Build team with Manhattan Construction, JCJ Architecture worked hard to understand the immediate success that First Council exhibited and described. During a series of early design charrettes and pin-ups, it was quickly understood that the Tribe desired to adhere to existing design solutions and expand upon those solutions in a way that aligned with their budget and served their existing clientele. Following these guidelines, the team was able to deliver an end product that exceeded expectations and provided an extremely happy, and profitable, client.
With a previously prepped site, the design and construction included 3 independent additions (hotel, casino/bar and entertainment space) that were planned and built simultaneously while the existing casino and tent structure continued operation. Providing this simultaneous design and construction, the team immediately resolved and relocated utilities, keeping the construction straightforward and on budget
Success in Gaming
Within these additions, the client requested that a large central, elevated bar be included. The new bar was meant to generate excitement and provide extremely close gaming opportunities so that guests could quickly grab a drink, turn around and keep playing. The tribe and design team understood the importance of the slot machine count, and based this casino floor design off of a feasibility study that JCJ did with Manhattan prior to construction.
Success in Hotel Design
The connecting 87 room hotel was also constructed on a limited budget. The interiors team worked to align material choices with the existing budget. Materials, such as vinyl wood, were selected to minimize cost while still providing a design that was attractive and in line with the existing structure. Paint colors were tested and matched to an existing pallet so the addition felt seamless. And details such as small niches to showcase Native artwork were provided in each hotel room and lobby to deliver a sense of place and uniqueness. In addition to the design details and budget alignment, the Tribe and patrons were very pleased with the addition of a breakfast bar and gathering space that exhibit a sense of community with in the hotel.
Success in Entertainment
Designed as a pre-fabricated ‘box’ structure, the entertainment venue seats 1,500 guests and includes a stage, greenroom, storage and small bar. One of the key design features is the circulation from the hotel, through the gaming space and into the entertainment venue. This circulation is completely enclosed, always redirecting guests to visit revenue generating spaces.
JCJ was inspired by being tasked with creating a fully consistent, ‘invisible’, set of additions and the client was thrilled that their voice and previous success was heard, understood and represented in their new addition. Having proved great success in listening to and delivering client needs, JCJ Architecture was selected to design and document an additional casino and convenient store, Paradise and Little Bit of Paradise, for the First Council Tribe.