The day after Cherokee’s new chief and vice chief took their oaths of office, a lawsuit naming nearly all the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians’ elected leaders from the previous term found its way to the courthouse.
If you’d asked Leeann Bridges 20 years ago what her ideal career would look like, she probably wouldn’t have told you she hoped to become a marketing executive at a casino.
In the words of Principal Chief Michell Hicks, it’s been “a whirlwind year” for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians.
At first blush, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians is competing with itself by opening a new casino in Murphy just 55 miles from its main casino and resort in Cherokee. But those 55 miles make a huge difference.
Mary Anderson didn’t have much time to stop for an interview. It was just after 1 p.m., and the Atlanta resident had been up since 6 a.m. in her quest to experience opening day at Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino and Hotel in Murphy. With the purple-and-white ribbon freshly severed at the door of the new casino, Anderson was on a mission — press through the crowd and get playing as quickly as possible.
The new Valley River Casino and Hotel built by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians on the outskirts of Murphy will have far-reaching impacts on the far western corner of the state, forever changing the economic and cultural landscape of the region.
Sam Olbekson has never met a duality he couldn’t reconcile. As the lead architect for the $110 million Harrah’s Cherokee Valley River Casino & Hotel opening near Murphy next week, Olbekson’s design will make a lasting impression of the region on millions of visitors for decades to come.
Spirits were high last week as Lumpy Lambert made his morning lap around the floor of the new casino. The count down was on, with just a week to go until the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians would open its new $110 million casino on the edge of Murphy. And the machine was firing on all cylinders.
The day after Chief-Elect Patrick Lambert takes his oath of office, Principal Chief Michell Hicks will take over Lambert’s old job as executive director of the Tribal Gaming Commission.
There was nothing ambiguous about Patrick Lambert’s win in the race for Cherokee Principal Chief last week. His victory came in a landslide of 71 percent.