In Washington state, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians presented the Tacoma City Council with an update on its planned $370 million Emerald Queen Casino [I-5].
According to The News Tribune…
The Tuesday presentation informed the council that the 310,000 square foot facility will be ready to welcome visitors by December 2019.
Construction well underway:
Situated along Interstate 5 in Tacoma, the building will reportedly span East 29th and East R streets and include a 110,000-square-foot casino. The tribe communicated to the council that the building will vie with the size of other casinos in the Pacific Northwest state.
The Puyallup Tribe announced in April 2013 that it would break ground that summer on a parking structure near Portland Ave. And upon completion, it would begin construction on a new, full-service gaming facility.
Construction is well underway and the building is already a massive presence along the I-5. Going up now is a structure that features a pair of parking garages with 1,370 stalls in total. One of the parking garages is already operating.
Plans for existing casino:
The existing casino is comprised of a Bingo hall, which has been operating for more than two decades, along with three large tents. The large tent structure houses a majority of the casino, with the permanent structure of the casino situated in the old Puyallup Bingo Hall.
The Interstate 5 location, which opened in 2001, was originally intended to be a temporary facility. Three years later, the tent addition opened.
Upon completion of the new casino, the tents will be shut down and eventually demolished, according to the tribe.
General Manager Frank Wright, said…
“A lot of people walking through don’t realize those are tents. And tents have a life(span).”
All of the bling of Las Vegas:
The building will have all the glitz and glamor of Las Vegas, with electronic messaging, lights, art and striking designs.
Wright said, “You hate to say gaming is going to identify Tacoma, but gaming will identify Tacoma when you drive down the freeway and see this building all lit up with the LED boards and being beautiful.”
In addition to a casino almost double the size of the current one, the new venue will reportedly offer upscale, buffet and café-style dining options, along with two bars. A sports bar will feature views of Mount Rainier, while the other will offer equally scenic views of Puget Sound and downtown Tacoma.
The structure will also house a 2,000-seat, 21,000-square-foot events center, which will incorporate cedar paneling, reminiscent of a tribal long house.
“It’s an extraordinary space.”
Council member Catherine Ushka, said. “I can’t wait to see how it’s used and the level of performances we’re going to attract to the greater area.”
Jobs and future growth:
According to Puyallup Tribal Chairman Bill Sterud…
The project will see jobs increase as well as tourism, with the new casino expected to add to the current 2,100 workers employed at the Puyallup Tribe’s existing casinos. The tribe also owns and operates the Emerald Queen Hotel & Casino in Fife. The slots-only casino opened on December 13, 2004.
Streud said 200 jobs would be added to the current employee count.
Still in the planning phase, the tribe’s new attached $65 million 150-200-room hotel will be located east of the new casino. Plans include a 3.5 to 4-star accommodation with rooftop dining, conference rooms and a spa.