DURANT, Okla. — A local entertainment venue may become home to an Academy of County Music Award in April. It was recently announced the Choctaw Casino and Resort in Durant, Oklahoma, has been nominated for the “Casino of the Year-Small Capacity” award.
This is the fifth consecutive year that the casino has been nominated for the award.
“We are just humbled to be nominated,” Choctaw Marketing Manager Sara Adams said in a phone interview Tuesday. “We would be honored if we were to win. It would be an exceptionally exciting thing for us.”
Adams said that Choctaw Casino is special for several reasons. Aside from the casino and resort, the entertainment venue houses the game center The District and hosts weekly musicians, comedians and performers.
“No. 1 is that we try to provide the best for our guests because we think they deserve the best,” she said. “With that, we have premium seats so they are extremely comfortable. The acoustics are state of the art. It is high quality. It is called a Meyer Leo PA system that is pretty much accepted by all bands nation wide.”
Also, Adams said that it does not matter where an individual is seated in the Grand Theater, he or she is no more than 125 feet away from the stage.
“So if you were to go to a larger venue, that would be one of the premium seats at the larger venue,” she said. “So here, every seat is a premium seat.”
As for choosing the act at The Grand Theater for a coming year, Choctaw tries to stay abreast to the desires of its core demographic as well as the people of Texoma.
“We have an entertainment director and we usually use our core demographic to see what people they would like to come play here,” she said. “We do research to see what type of entertainment they like and then call their band management and make offers. Pretty much, we just try to cater to what the people want to hear and then we go from there.”
CMA male artist of the year nominee Chris Stapleton will be at the resort in March. This week, they announced that Tim McGraw will be playing in the Grand Theater in November for the first time. Also, in case individuals that saw Koe Wetzel perform at Hot Summer Nights in Sherman in 2018 want to see him again, he will be gracing the Choctaw Casino stage this year..
“We want to give a little bit of something to everyone,” Adams said. “We do have acts that we try to bring in every year, like Reba McIntire. She comes in almost every year. Tim McGraw will be playing for multiple days straight. So we like to cater to what we have been doing as well as bring in acts that we think the people would like to meet.”
Not only will the CMA be important for the casino, Adams said that a win would be exciting for the city of Durant as well.
“It is exciting to expose people — most of our market is from the Dallas area — to Oklahoma and to our small community,” she said. “And, once they are here, they can visit our local shopping retailers in downtown Durant and things like that. It is just to put Southeastern Oklahoma on the map along with North Texas. But, we want to cater to the DFW market.
The 54th Academy of Country Music Awards winners will be announced during an event on April 7 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. Adams said that the casino’s Assistant General Manager Frank Deal and Events Program Manager Deana Baker will be attending the ceremony.
“We are honored to be recognized by the Academy of Country Music,” Deal said in a news release. “Being nominated amongst some of the best entertainment venues in the nation is a great accomplishment in itself and we hope to continue to provide the best experience to our guests.”