Spokane Tribe Casino completes expansion; new casino floor opening Monday

<p><p>The Spokane Tribe has completed the second phase in its plan to develop a hotel-casino property in Airway Heights.</p></p><p><p>The Spokane Tribe Casino on Monday is unveiling its expansion, which doubles the size of its casino floor with 20,000-square feet of additional gaming space. It brings a larger nonsmoking gaming area, dedicated poker room, new dining option and sports betting area.</p></p><p><p>The Spokane Tribe broke ground on the project, which cost more than $30 million, last year.</p></p><p><p>“The overall feedback has been people like us and appreciate the safety measures we did with COVID, but a complaint was we were just too small,” said Christopher Marzotto, marketing director of Spokane Tribe Casino. The expansion “allows us to spread out and give more amenities to players.”</p></p><p><p>The casino added more than 300 new slot machines and six table games. The casino will be reopening its craps table in late November, Marzotto said.</p></p><p><p>However, not all of the casino’s new amenities will open Monday. It’s in the process of hiring more staff and finalizing a partnership with “an industry-leading sportsbook partner” to bring sports betting to the casino, Marzotto said.</p></p><p><p>The Spokane Tribe received federal approval last month that allows sports wagering on tribal grounds.</p></p><p><p>When complete in November, the sportsbook is anticipated to be a significant draw to the casino, Marzotto said.</p></p><p><p>“I’m sure a lot of the players here will enjoy having the new amenity,” he said. “We’ll have a big TV board going in that will be able to be viewed throughout the casino.”</p></p><p><p>Whaluks, a casino-floor bar, will be rebranded into the Grill, a quick-service restaurant connected to the sports wagering area, Marzotto said.</p></p><p><p>The Grill’s menu will consist of sandwiches, burgers, nachos, soups and salads, among other items.</p></p><p><p>Warner Gaming spearheaded development of the expansion project. Swinerton Builders of Spokane was the project contractor. The Minnesota-based Cuningham Group designed the expansion.</p></p><p><p>The casino expansion is expected to create more than 150 new jobs, Marzotto said.</p></p><p><p><span class=”print_trim”>The casino will hold a grand opening celebration in the near future after all amenities are open, Marzotto said.</span></p></p><p><p>The project is the second phase of the Spokane Tribe’s $400 million economic development plan that calls for a hotel, convention center, dining, retail stores, entertainment center and a cultural center on the 145-acre site on U.S. Highway 2.</p></p><p><p><span class=”print_trim”>When complete in 2025, the Spokane Tribe’s hotel-casino property is expected to generate more than 2,000 jobs, Marzotto said.</span></p></p><p><p>“It’s a really exciting time to see the development and progress made, and there’s a bright future that’s ahead,” he said.</p></p><p><p>The West Plains is one of the fastest growing areas of the state with more than $750 million invested in land and buildings within the past two years, said Mark Losh, executive director of the West Plains Chamber of Commerce.</p></p><p><p>Losh said he thinks the casino expansion is a boon for the community.</p></p><p><p>“Anytime that one of the businesses on the West Plains expands and grows means more economic development and jobs for the community,” he said. <span class=”print_trim”>The expansion “helps overall growth on the West Plains.”</span></p></p><p><p>Spokane Tribe Chairwoman Carol Evans said she was excited about the project because the tribe had worked for years <a href=”https://www.spokesman.com/stories/2016/jun/08/inslee-approves-spokane-tribes-west-plains-casino” target=”_blank”>on obtaining approval</a> to build the gaming complex on its ancestral homeland in Airway Heights.</p></p><p><p>“We are excited to be a part of the community and grow with Eastern Washington,” Evans said. “It’s a growing, thriving region and we’re just really excited to be able to provide a good place for people to eat a meal or have entertainment. I feel good about that and at the same time, we’re providing jobs for the area and our tribal people.”</p></p>