Posted by ilani on Thursday, April 27, 2017
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Openings & Closings

Cowlitz Tribe reports strong turnouts a month after casino debut

It's been a month since the Cowlitz Tribe opened its long-awaited casino in Washington and business appears to be booming.

The ilani Casino Resort sees about 8,000 to 10,000 patrons a day, president and general manager Kara Fox-LaRose told The Columbian. Peak hours are around midnight, she said.

“We’ve certainly experienced high volumes,” she said. “It’s an indicator that there is definitely awareness and curiosity out there in the community.”

The facility is located in Ridgefield. It's the closest tribal casino to Portland, Oregon's most populous city.

The location was one of the reasons why Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde was fighting ilani in the court system. The tribe's Spirit Mountain Casino is about 60 miles from Portland.

"We are cautiously optimistic that the impacts aren't going to be as big as predicted," Justin Martin, a Grand Ronde citizen and lobbyist, told The Oregonian. "We deliver a very solid entertainment experience. We hope Oregonians want to stay here."

Grand Ronde leaders dropped the lawsuit after losing at the federal appeals court level last July. Non-Indian opponents asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case but the justices took a pass, securing a victory for tribal interests.

Read More on the Story:
Ilani Casino Resort hits jackpot out of the gate (The Columbian 5/30)
Spirit Mountain likes its odds against casino rivals (The Oregonian 5/27)

D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Decision:
Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon v. Jewell (July 29, 2016)

Related Stories:
Cowlitz Tribe welcomes big crowd to $510M casino in Washington (April 25, 2017)