A convention and entertainment center will open doors at ilani Casino Resort in the heart of Southwest Washington in April, Kara Fox LaRose, President and General Manager of the resort, has told The Business Journals.
The complex will have its ribbon cut precisely a year after the official opening of the adjacent casino resort. The meeting and entertainment venue will be attached to the northeast corner of the main resort’s building.
When launched, it will be able to seat 2,500 people and to host events of different nature. The complex was originally expected to open doors last fall, but its launch was eventually postponed to this spring.
Tom Teesdale, Vice President of Marketing at the resort, has previously explained that they want to turn the new center into the perfect spot for group meetings for Clark County as well as for groups from different other parts of the country. The facility will also have the capacity to host larger conferences and conventions as well as different entertainment events, including concerts and shows of diverse nature. Mr. Teesdale has also pointed out that by opening the complex, they aim to enhance “entertainment offerings in the Pacific Northwest.”
It has also become known that ilani Casino Resort could be expanded even further in the coming years as owners are deliberating on the opportunity to add a hotel to its existing offering.
The Cowlitz Tribe’s Struggles to Realize Its Casino Project
ilani Casino Resort eventually opened doors last spring after several years spent by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe in attempts to materialize the project. The tribe had to overcome a great number of hurdles, both legal and regulatory ones, over the years. For instance it had to secure its status as a Native American tribe before being able to build its casino resort.
The tribe invested the total amount of $510 million to construct the complex not far from La Center, Southwest Washington. The property features a 100,000-square-foot casino floor with 2,500 slot machines and 75 table games, including blackjack, baccarat, and roulette.
Aside from gambling options, ilani Casino Resort also features numerous dining facilities, including the 300-seat Michael Jordan’s Steakhouse. The complex has retail space with three outlets, including a women’s fashion boutique, an accessories shop, and the Cowlitz Trading Post with apparel and gifts of different nature. A 152-acre parking for 3,000 vehicles was too built as part of the resort.
Upon opening its resort, the Cowlitz tribe said that it believed the property could attract around 4.5 million visitors each year. And although tribal officials have promised to contribute 2% of their casino’s net income to local education and arts programs, the project met some opposition. Locals were concerned that it would impact negatively nearby card rooms due to the greater variety of offering it would feature.
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