The Spokane Tribe Casino in Airway Heights, Washington has broken ground on an expansion project that aims to double its current size.
According to a statement from the Spokane Tribe on Monday, the expansion has already started earlier this month with the demolition of the Washington casino’s east side parking lot. The construction is expected to be completed in the latter part of 2021 and it will help bring in a total of 300 construction and casino jobs. The Spokane Tribe also said that additional amenities and expansion plans will be revealed in a series of announcements next year.
The expansion project involves the addition of 20,000 square feet of gaming space to the Washington casino’s existing area. It is the second phase of the Spokane Tribe’s Economic Development Plan that calls for a hotel, cultural center, entertainment venue, and retail shops on the 145-acre site on U.S. Highway 2.
Warner Gaming, which operates the Washington casino, will lead the development of the expansion project. Spokane’s Swinerton Builders has been designated as the project contractor while the Cuningham Group from Minnesota will design the expansion.
Per Spokane Tribal Casino Marketing Director Christopher Marzotto, the Spokane Tribe had planned to break ground on the project earlier this year but was forced to move the date due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Doubling the Current Size
The Spokane Tribal Casino is built on the Spokane Tribal Exclusive Aboriginal Territory and it is owned and operated by the Spokane Indian Tribe. As such, it has tribal sovereignty and it is not covered by the state’s COVID-19 protocols.
Currently, Gov. Jay Inslee has set a 10 p.m. curfew for establishments in the state. However, since the Spokane Tribal Casino is on reservation land, it is open until 3 a.m. The casino however follows the state’s other protocols like the strict wearing of face masks, temperature checks, and regular disinfection of areas.
Because of its “relaxed” rules during the pandemic, the Washington casino continues to roll as its non-reservation competitors struggle. According to management, the Spokane Trial Casino has made profits of 10% more than its monthly average prior to the pandemic. Because of how well they are doing, they have decided to double the size of the current facility.