The Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority announced yesterday that the Cowlitz Indian Tribe of Washington state has closed on a financing deal for construction of a proposed casino to be located on Cowlitz tribal land in Clark County, the Cowlitz Casino Resort.

“We are very pleased to announce that the  CTGA [Cowlitz Tribal Gaming Authority] has closed on its casino construction financing,” said Robert J. Soper, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Authority.  “This is a monumental step both for the Cowlitz Tribe and for the Authority as developer and manager, as we can now proceed with the development of what we believe will be the finest and most successful resort in the Pacific Northwest, which is expected to be open to the public in mid-2017.”

The Cowlitz tribe was first recognized by the federal government in 2000 but didn’t receive reservation land until earlier this year, having been approved by the Bureau of Indian Affairs in 2014. The tribe began preliminary site preparation on the 152 acre reservation near La Center in October in anticipation of a January ground breaking ceremony. However there are several lawsuits in the works attempting to stop the tribe from going forward with their economic enterprise and construction could be delayed.

In mid-October the tribe entered into an agreement with Salishan-Mohegan LLC, a subsidiary of the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority for $485 million in financing to construct and complete the casino complex. Later that month the tribe announced they anticipate that construction will begin early next year.

The Cowlitz Casino Resort will be located near the I-5 interchange just outside of La Center, Washington – about 20 miles from Portland, in neighboring Oregon. The casino will offer over 100,000 square feet of gaming space, 145,000 sq ft of entertainment and convention space, more than 250,000 sq ft of retail, an 8 story 250-room hotel, 200 unit RV park, and additional parking for more than 7,000 vehicles.

The Mohegan tribe owns and operates casinos in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, own part of Resorts Casino Hotel’s online gaming operations in Atlantic City and are allowed up to a 10% stake in the brick and mortar operations there, and have embarked on a multi-billion dollar joint venture for a casino in South Korea. They will also manage and operate the Cowlitz Casino when it opens.