"All I can say is WOW!"
From investors, to the Chief himself, "wow" is how many are describing the Choctaw tribe's latest development, the Golden Moon Casino.
A soft opening for the casino was held in late August. Since then, tribal officials estimate that the number of visitors to the resort has almost doubled.
The Pearl River Resort is an investment worth well over $500 million. It employs just over 5,000 people. However, tribal officials say there's still more to come.
Most of the tribe's future development will take place on Highway 16, west of the Golden Moon. In August, Geyser Falls Water Park opened.
In coming months, new attractions are scheduled to be added there.
Then within the next three years, the Lake Pushmataha area is expected to be fully opened with a lagoon, designed for snorkeling, a beach area and perhaps as many as three additional hotels. When complete, tribal officials say the resort could employ as many as 15,000 people.
Despite a sluggish economy, Chief Martin says he's optimistic about the expansion.
"People are not just going to stay home and say I'm not going to the Silver Star," said Martin.
As for the possibility of a third casino. . .
"I won't say NO and I won't say yes. It depends on the economy," Martin said.
Resort officials say financial and attendance figures for the Golden Moon will be available sometime early next year.