Despite icy winter conditions, more than 800 people reportedly attended an eight-hour jobs fair held on Saturday in hopes of being chosen for a position at the coming Ilani Casino in southwestern Washington state.

According to a report from The Daily News newspaper, the $510 million casino being built by the Cowlitz Tribe near the small town of La Center is around 80% complete and is scheduled to open for business in April complete with a 100,000 sq ft gaming floor offering 2,500 slots and 75 gaming tables alongside multiple restaurants and meeting spaces.

The jobs fair held in the Clark County city of Ridgefield reportedly saw candidates apply for positions ranging from table games dealers and slot machine attendants to computer specialists and surveillance agents while Kara Fox-LaRose, General Manager and President for Ilani Casino, explained that the casino needs a breadth of experiences and backgrounds in order to run well.

“There’s really something for everyone under one roof,” she told the local newspaper.

Set to be operated by Salishan-Mohegan LLC, which is joint venture of the Cowlitz Tribe and the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority, Ilani Casino has already begun hosting training seminars for craps dealers after conducting large group interviews but reportedly revealed that additional dealers will be required in the future.

“We do things like that so we can pull the personality out and find those fun, friendly and energetic people that really work well in the hospitality environment, that are excited to come to work and engage,” Fox-LaRose told The Daily News. “Not everyone is an extrovert so when you look at the breadth of the business and how dynamic it is with all of the positions, not all of them are guest-facing.”

Fox-LaRose reportedly declared that around 1,000 positions need to be filled before Ilani Casino opens while about 2,000 people had already applied to work at the Washington property before the weekend event held at the Clark County Event Center. She also stated that there is set to be a wave of hirings later this week with more appointments to follow as the casino’s opening draws nearer.

“These jobs are readily available and we’ll continue to fill these positions up through the end of March, so that we have time to ensure that our team is trained and is ready,” Fox-LaRose told the newspaper.

At the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority casinos where she previously worked, Fox-LaRose reportedly told the newspaper that approximately 80% of team members had been promoted from within to higher-paying positions and that she now hopes to cultivate this practice at the new Ilani Casino, which is going ahead despite continued legal efforts to block its construction and challenge the Cowlitz Tribe’s right to a reservation.

The Daily News reported that some of those who attended the weekend jobs fair were especially excited about the possibility of finding employment closer to home instead of being required to commute to neighboring Oregon. One of these, 71-year-old William Smith, told the newspaper that he drives 18 miles every day to work part-time at a warehouse near Portland but now hopes to stretch out his social security dollars by getting two part-time jobs or switching to a full-time position.

More casino jobs in Washington state and elsewhere can be found on