QUAPAW, Oklahoma - Despite a global pandemic and economic uncertainty of historic proportions, the Quapaw Nation’s Downstream Casino Resort reported record profitability for the first quarter of 2021. The property exceeded budget projections, kept expenses low, and operated leaner and more efficiently than ever.
The first quarter of 2021 was the property’s best year since it opened in 2008. New executive management at Downstream Casino Resort and a Quapaw Nation Business committee that now places a premium on transparency and accountability has allowed the casino to reach its full potential. New General Manager Stuart Grayson (Cherokee) and Chief Financial Officer Ben Blosch (Cherokee) are the first tribal citizens to hold those executive positions in the resort’s history.
Downstream Casino Resort
"I've worked in gaming for more than 15 years. When I arrived at Downstream Casino Resort, I was taken aback by this property and its potential. The resort is beautiful, and I found an outstanding team in place,” said General Manager Stuart Grayson. “But as gaming has matured in Oklahoma and the market has become more competitive, the key to success isn’t just getting people in the door any longer. It’s being strategic on every level. From the way we manage our expenses, introduce the right promotions, select the best entertainment and market to the right players.” Said Stuart Grayson
“But as gaming has matured in
Oklahoma and the market has become more competitive, the key to success isn’t just getting people in the door any longer. It’s being strategic on every level. From the way we manage our expenses, introduce the right promotions, select the best entertainment and market to the right players.”
In the first quarter of fiscal year 2021 alone, Downstream Casino Resort exceeded all of fiscal year 2020’s net income. The property was also
51.9% over the EBITDA budget, under on revenue, and 320% over the net income budget. These successes were despite the COVID-19
pandemic reducing operating hours significantly. Downstream Casino Resort typically operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, but 24-hour
operations did not return until midway through the first quarter.
Downstream Casino Resort
“First quarter results are quite frankly astonishing for a property with this much history,” said Chief Financial Officer Ben Blosch. “We
experienced the most profitable quarter ever with minimal revenue growth. It’s a testament to the efforts of the employees and the leadership
team’s focus on process improvement. For the first time, the Quapaw Nation and its people see what this property can do.”
Financial reporting on Downstream Casino Resort has also improved. General Manager Stuart Grayson’s reports to the Quapaw Nation Business
Committee provide real data and monthly budget updates. Quapaw Nation Business Committee meetings live-streamed and allow citizens to ask
“Our gaming entities, while profitable in the past, were not running efficiently. The property’s return on investment strategy had not been evaluated in many years. Expenses were mismanaged, and the property’s core market was ignored,” said Quapaw Nation Business Committee Secretary-Treasurer Guy Barker. “The new executive leadership team has transformed everything, from fiscal management to employee culture. These changes helped Downstream’s profitability increase by more than 140 percent. Accomplishments like this would be monumental for any business in a normal year. But considering the changes of a new administration, the COVID-19 pandemic and economic setbacks related to the pandemic, these accomplishments are nothing short of extraordinary. The Quapaw people should be extremely pleased with how their asset is being managed and performing.”