Leaders of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians approved a $2 million expansion of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino. They will soon issue a request for proposals for adding 600-700 hotel rooms in a new tower and 100,000 square feet of convention space. The RFP process is expected to take 8-10 months, and construction would take another year. The resort already features 1,100 hotel rooms in three towers, 150,000 square feet of gambling space, and 15,000 square feet of convention space. A spa, ten restaurants, seven retail outlets, and access to the tribe’s golf club already help make the casino a one-stop vacation spot. The hotel runs a 99-percent occupancy rate year-round, and management has had to turn away as many conventions as it hosts. Neither the casino’s owner (Harrah’s) nor its management (the tribe) releases financials, but last year each tribal member received a $11,700 disbursement from the operation. The casino has also contributed funds judged essential for the construction of a new hospital, a courthouse, a high school, and museum renovations. The high-end expansion will be financed.