Our Story

In 1906, Sulphur Springs entrepreneurs J.M. Bayless and C.J. Webster opened the elegant New Winston Hotel, later renamed The Artesian Hotel, after abandoning construction on another luxury project in 1904. After more than 50 years of popularity with upscale, classy clientele, The Artesian was destroyed by a fire on January 14, 1962. The business was reborn as the understated Artesian Motor Hotel, but never reclaimed its former vibrancy and fashionable appeal. The Chickasaw Nation purchased and renamed the hotel the Chickasaw Motor Inn in 1972, making it the first business owned and operated solely by the tribe. The inn was demolished in 2006 to make way for a new version of The Artesian Hotel Casino & Spa, which opened its doors in 2013. The rebuild matches the size and elegance of the original hotel with comfort and amenities to satisfy every need of the modern traveler.

1830s

The Chickasaw Nation establishes territory on the land surrounding the Seven Sisters Springs near present-day Sulphur, Oklahoma.

1890s

Settlers begin to move onto Chickasaw land near the Springs, eventually leading to the establishment of a Sulphur Springs township.

1902

The Chickasaw Nation forges an agreement to sell their land and move onto the new Sulphur Springs Reservation. All buildings from the original Sulphur Springs settlement are purchased by the government and settlers are given a deadline to vacate.

1903

A new city of Sulphur Springs is established south of the reservation. To address a growing tourist influx, local entrepreneurs J.M. Bayless and C.J. Webster begin construction on a four-story luxury hotel called The Bland, which is anticipated to be the finest in Native American territory.

1904

The National Park Service extends the land boundaries of the Sulphur Springs Reservation by 218 acres and the city relocates for a second time to its north and south borders. Bayless and Webster abandon construction on The Bland and sell the building and its surrounding property to the government.

1906

Bayless and Webster open the elegant New Winston Hotel; later renamed The Artesian Hotel. In honor of Connecticut senator Orville Platt, Sulphur Springs Reservation is renamed Platt National Park.

1907

Oklahoma is officially incorporated into the United States as the 46th state. Oklahoma’s first governor, Charles Haskell, uses The Artesian as his “summer White House.” Over the years, other notable guests; including Roy Rogers and John Wayne; consider The Artesian a home away from home.

1962

The original Artesian Hotel is grounded by a fire and replaced by the modest Artesian Motor Hotel. The city of Sulphur was devastated when a fire destroyed The Artesian on the evening of January 14, 1962. The Artesian Motor Hotel was built in its place as a solution for accommodations in Sulphur.

1972

The Chickasaw Nation purchases The Artesian Motor Hotel and changes the name to Chickasaw Motor Inn. The purchase marks the Chickasaw Nation’s first business venture and soon becomes the headquarters for the Chickasaw Nation Government operations.

1976

Platt National Park merges with the Arbuckle National Recreation Area to become the Chickasaw National Recreational Area.

2006

As part of the Chickasaw Nation’s “Phoenix Project” in the Sulphur area, The Chickasaw Motor Inn is cleared to begin construction on the new Artesian Hotel.

2010

Construction on the new hotel and spa begins with a groundbreaking ceremony.

2013

The brand-new Artesian Hotel, Casino & Spa opens its doors on August 2, 2013, with much of the town in attendance to celebrate the occasion.