Cherokee, North Carolina

Harrah's Cherokee Casino Resort

Collaborating with The Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Caesars Entertainment, Cuningham expanded the Great Smoky Mountains Resort into a sophisticated, world-class mountain destination. The new exterior reflects the layered, curving shapes of the Smoky Mountains. Tall spruce trees, oak trees and river cane also characterize the site and are incorporated into the design. Inside, four visually distinct zones — identified as Mountain Breeze, Woodland Moon, River Valley and Earth Water — were created to help orient guests within the large space. The phased development includes a 500,000-square-foot casino expansion with VIP Lounge, as well as a 520-key hotel, two parking garages, a new spa, new restaurants, a retail concourse and a 3,000-seat event center.

NEWH Las Vegas 9th Annual HOSPY Award for Best Buffet
NEWH Las Vegas 9th Annual HOSPY Award for Best Theatrical Experience

Client: Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and Caesars Entertainment Corp.

Studio: Play

Market: Entertainment, Hospitality

Size: 2,700,000 Square Feet

Scope: Renovation, Addition

Services: Architecture, Interior Design, Master Planning

Delivery Method: Negotiated Contract

Key Project Contacts:

“I had the lens of my own experience of a native person living in a modern world and the duality of that. It aligned with my goals to help native communities in their economic development projects to ensure design and planning is done in a culturally appropriate and specific way.”

Samuel Olbekson, Principal