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First phase of Apache Casino project underway

Lawton's largest commercial construction project is in full swing, but it will be a while before patrons of the Apache Casino Hotel will be able to enjoy the new amenities.

The first phase of the project at 2315 E. Gore is visible as workers erect steel on the north side of the casino on the west side of the building. The entire project will enclose the tent that covers the casino and provide some additional support space, said Brady Jones, project manager for the remodeling.

Jones hopes to have the first phase complete this fall, then move on to the second phase. It will include a duplicate of the first phase on the south side of the building, then erecting the covering for the tent.

That will take some time, Brady said, because the casino will have to close at times so the steel over the tent can be erected.

"Obviously, we can't have anybody under them when we 'fly' (the steel beams," Brady said. 

"We are shooting for late November in 2019" for completion, he said, with a goal of being opening before Christmas.

The tent, which Brady said has housed the casino for a dozen years, won't be going away anytime soon.

The tent  with its changing colored lights  will stay in place for the time being. Original plans called for removal of the tent when the steel building was completed, but "there's been some back and forth on the tent." Patrons are accustomed to the tent instead of a more open ceiling, he said, and the insulated tent provides extra energy efficiency. Keeping it in place reduces the cost of the project while extending the life of the tent, Brady said.

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