It’s hard to believe that Harrah’s Valley River Casino is celebrating it’s one year anniversary. It took forever to get everything in place, but the casino has proven to be a success. A lot of locals were worried about an increase in traffic, but so far there is minimal impact. According to the Cherokee Scout, that came out this week, the casino has boosted jobs and our local economy. General Manager Lumpy Lambert reported that 76% of their employees come from the western most counties of North Carolina. Occupancy tax collections in the county have increased since it opened. Along with this news the paper also reported how the casino employees have given back to the community by donating 15,500 hours of community service. While the casino has donated $82,000 to charitable donations such as: MANNA Food Bank, Keep N.C. Beautiful, Blue Ridge National Heritage and N.C. Senior Games to name a few. The facility will be hosting its’ first entertainment event with a free outdoor event with country music legend Ronnie Milsap. As for the future, Lambert said plans for a 250-seat restaurant were being finalized for construction and their plan is that it will open next summer.
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