On Thursday of last week, the Spokane Tribe of Indians released new information on a casino that is planned for the Airway Heights area of Washington. The tribe provided information as well as visuals to individuals of the host community to give those living in the area an idea of what to expect with the project.
The tribe announced they were planning a casino build about ten years ago but have yet to be able to create one due to controversy. The tribe then worked with local governments from 2008 to 2012 to try and come to some type of agreement so a casino could be created. Officials of the tribe submitted an application in 2012 to the Bureau of Indian Affairs and in 2013 an environmental impact of the project was released. In 2015, the Bureau of Indian Affairs approved the project and by June of this year, the Governor of Washington also gave approval.
According to the tribe’s plans for the casino, the project will be located on 145 acres of land. The development of the project will take place over several phases. This October will signal the start of Phase One, which will include the casino construction as well as restaurant and outdoor facilities. This should take one year to complete.
In the past, the Spokane Tribe had stated the project would have a cost of around $400 million with the entertainment and retail complex ready for a full launch by 2026. Based on the initial estimates of the project, the casino is expected to bring in around $5 million in tax revenues to be given to the state, Spokane County and the host community.
The project, being known as the Spokane Tribe Economic Project or STEP, should create thousands of jobs which are needed in the area. With the project, employment would be available for construction as well as for positions within the areas of the facility.