Growing North Carolina Cherokee casino to mark theater opening

Cherokee, North Carolina (AP) September 2010

Cherokee Indian casino in western North Carolina is marking a milestone in its three-year expansion plans.

Harrah's Cherokee Casino held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Sept. 3 for a new 3,000-seat event center that will host concerts over Labor Day weekend featuring country acts Hank Williams Jr. and Lady Antebellum.

The casino complex in December plans to open a 20-story hotel tower with 530 rooms, along with a full-service restaurant tied to Southern cooking queen Paula Deen.

The gaming floor will double in size with a noodle bar and games targeting Asian gamblers who are increasingly visiting nearby cities like Atlanta.

Two more restaurants, new shops and an 18,000-square-foot spa are scheduled to be completed in 2012.