Catawba Chief Bill Harris cuts ribbon for 500-slot temporary casino in Kings Mountain.
KINGS MOUNTAIN, N.C. (July 1, 2021) – The Catawba Two Kings Casino pre-launch facility in Kings Mountain opened to the public at noon today after Catawba Nation Chief Bill Harris cut a ceremonial ribbon with tribal, local and state government leaders.
The 500-slot temporary facility was built in only four months using prefabricated modular structures on part of a 17-acre site just off Interstate 85, about 35 miles west of Charlotte. The facility, which will be open 24 hours daily, is providing an initial opportunity for patrons in the Charlotte region and beyond to game with limited food and beverage services and other guest amenities.
For the Catawba Nation, today’s opening represented the culmination of three decades seeking to finally benefit from the federal service area of six North Carolina counties, including Cleveland County, that it was assigned by Congress in 1993 to recognize the tribe’s aboriginal and historical ties to the state.
“Catawba Two Kings Casino represents the righting of a historical wrong for the Catawba Nation,” Chief Harris said. “But it is also so much more. It represents a prosperous future and renewed kinship between the Catawba Nation and the many communities that now occupy Catawba ancestral lands, including Kings Mountain, Cleveland County, and the State of North Carolina.
“For many of us, it represents a bright future – a future with more jobs and educational opportunities. We are thankful for the relationships that have been created in each community, for our partnerships with Delaware North and SkyBoat Gaming, and for the invaluable leadership that came from local officials in making this project a reality,” Harris said.
Harris was joined at the ribbon cutting by Catawba Assistant Chief Jason Harris, Catawba Council members and Catawba Gaming Commission officials, state and local government officials and representatives of Delaware North, the Catawba’s consultant on the casino project, and SkyBoat Gaming, its developer.
“What an exciting day it is to finally get this entertainment complex open,” Kings Mountain Mayor Scott Neisler said. “It brings so many positive aspects to our community — job creation, new housing opportunities, support for the Catawba Nation, and a significant economic impact to our community for years to come.”
About 250 people, including a significant number of Catawba Nation members, are employed at the prelaunch facility. It also created construction jobs in the region, with more to come when construction begins on an introductory phase of the $273 million full casino resort.
“This new entertainment facility is another step in creating jobs and economic benefits by making Cleveland County a destination for people throughout the Charlotte region and beyond,” Cleveland County Commissioner Johnny Hutchins said. “We thank the Catawba Nation and its partners for seeing this through and look forward to the casino resort’s continued development.”
Construction on the introductory phase – which will be part of the permanent casino and feature an additional 1,300 slot machines, restaurants and other amenities – is expected to begin by year’s end and will take about a year to complete. The full casino resort project is expected to create 2,600 permanent jobs at full buildout and thousands of construction jobs in the region.
“Delaware North is incredibly proud of our partnership with the Catawba Nation,” said Lou Jacobs, CEO of Delaware North, the project consultant. “Two Kings will be a world-class destination for hospitality and entertainment, as well as an enduring driver of economic opportunity for the region. We are grateful to everyone in Kings Mountain, Cleveland County and the state of North Carolina who helped to make today’s ribbon cutting possible.”
The Catawba Nation’s Tribal-State Compact with the State of North Carolina will allow the state to share in revenues generated by the new casino. The U.S. Department of the Interior’s approval of the compact earlier this year allows the Catawba to conduct Class III gaming, including operating slot machines and table games.
In March 2020, the U.S. Department of the Interior, following a thorough, years-long review, took 17 acres of land into trust status in Cleveland County, North Carolina, for the Catawba Nation. The action recognized the Catawba Nation’s historical and ancestral ties to its aboriginal lands throughout North Carolina, as evidenced by names such as Catawba County and Catawba College, as well as in the six counties, including Cleveland County, specifically identified by Congress as part of the Catawba’s service area. The compact with North Carolina acknowledges this connection to North Carolina as well.
In addition to creating revenue for the State of North Carolina, the casino will help support an education fund that will benefit environmental conservation, provide educational support for members of federal and state-recognized tribes, support local communities on economic development initiatives and foster employment opportunities on or near Catawba lands.
• March 2020: U.S. Department of the Interior takes 17 acres of land into trust in Cleveland County, N.C., for the Catawba Nation in recognition of its historical and ancestral ties to its aboriginal lands.
• July 2020: The Catawba Nation holds a ceremonial groundbreaking as site work begins for the Catawba Two Kings Casino.
• January 2021: The Catawba Nation and the State of North Carolina sign a compact for the state to share in revenue generated by the casino.
• March 2021: The U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Indian Affairs approves the Catawba Nation’s compact with the State of North Carolina.
• April 2021: U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia rules that the U.S. Department of the Interior acted properly in taking land into trust for the Catawba Nation.
• July 1, 2021: The Catawba Two Kings Casino pre-launch facility opens.
• Next: Construction is scheduled to begin by the end of 2021 on an introductory phase of the $273 million full casino resort. It will be part of the permanent casino and feature an additional 1,300 slot machines, restaurants and other amenities. Its construction is expected to take about a year.
Pre-Launch Facility Overview
Slot Machines: 500
Hours: Open 24 hours daily.
Facility Size and Makeup: About 29,000 square feet via 29 modular trailers. Gaming area is about 14,700 square feet and Administration area is about 4,200 square feet.
Parking Spaces: About 650.
F&B Features: Snack bar, service bar, outside area for food trucks and dining.
Construction Timeline: Trailers arrived onsite March 24 with installation of utilities completed in early June and systems installation completed this week.
Slot Machine Installation: Slot machines from seven different gaming manufacturers began arriving onsite in mid-June. Installation and certification of all 500 was recently completed.
General Construction Contractor: Joint venture of Yates-Metcon (Yates Construction [wgyates.com] and
Casino Access: Age 21 and over.
Smoking: Not allowed inside the venue but allowed outside in designated areas.
About Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort
Catawba Two Kings Casino Resort is being developed by the Catawba Nation at a 17-acre site at 538 Kings Mountain Blvd. in Kings Mountain, N.C. The site is near Interstate 85 Exit 5 and about 35 miles west of Charlotte. A temporary “pre-launch” gaming facility is planned to open this summer with 500 slot machines to provide an initial opportunity for patrons to game with limited food & beverage and other guest amenities. An introductory facility, part of the permanent casino, will follow with 1,300 slots. The total $273 million casino resort project is expected to create 2,600 permanent jobs at full buildout and thousands of construction jobs in the region. The Two Kings name celebrates the Catawba Nation’s history and hopeful future in their ancestral lands in North Carolina, paying tribute to the 18th century Catawba Chief King Hagler and the City of Kings Mountain.
For more information visit www.twokingscasino.com.