The Cowlitz Tribe owns and operates ilani in Longview, Washington. Photo: ilani

Cowlitz Tribe on track to open event center on first anniversary of gaming facility


It's been nearly seven months since the Cowlitz Tribe opened its long-awaited casino in Washington but expansion plans are already in motion.

The tribe is adding an events center to the ilani resort, The Longview Daily News reported. The venue will be able to seat up to 2,500 people for concerts and 1,000 for banquets and other events, the paper said. It's due to open in April 2018, on the first anniversary of the casino.

The tribe is also planning to add a hotel at ilani to serve guests, the paper reported. But that stage is still at least two years away, the paper said.

The casino is built on a portion of a 152-acre reservation, whose land-into-trust application was delayed due to years of litigation. The U.S. Supreme Court removed the last remaining legal hurdle in early April, just three weeks before the tribe opened the doors to ilani.

The tribe plans to relocate its headquarters to the reservation and build an cultural center and elder housing there, The Daily News reported. A smoke shop, as well as a convenience store and gas station, are already under construction on the reservation, the paper said.

“The most important thing is it puts us on equal footing with other tribes and it’s giving us an opportunity for our economic self-determination,” Chairman Bill Iyall told the paper.

The name of the casino, ilani, comes from the Salish word for "sing."

Read More on the Story:
Ilani casino sparks change, growth in first six months (The Longview Daily News November 26, 2017)

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

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