Golden Moon Debut

Bumper-to-bumper traffic awaited visitors to the Golden Moon casino on the Choctaw Indian Reservation Monday. After turning off Highway 15, it took many motorists thirty minutes or longer to reach their destination just three miles away down Highway 16 West.

"It took us two hours to get here," said Hazel Moore of Collinsville. "My husband took off work to come down here today," said Freida Hunt from Weir, Mississippi.

It has been 18 months since work first began on the $117 million casino and Monday it officially opened to the public.

"I came in from Las Vegas," said Marty Moore, who is the marketing director for the resort's casinos. "I'd been there for 18 years and the Golden Moon puts most of the casinos in Las Vegas to shame."

The casino is complete with 26 floors, more than 570 hotel rooms and this special observatory deck which is reserved for invited guests,"

With more than 2,000 workers, the casino has 1,700 slot machines and 56 gaming tables. Other features include more than a half dozen restaurants, an indoor-outdoor pool, spa, shopping areas and bar near the roof. However, that's not all!

"As we move forward, we're working on Lake Pushmataha, a fitness center up near the lake and those will be the next two amenities that we will add to the resort," said Moore.

As for development of the new lake and fitness center, Moore says work could start within the next year.

Meanwhile, with business still booming at the resort's first casino, officials say the futures for both the Silver Star and Golden Moon look very bright.