The Tulalip Tribes held a tribal blessing and a ceremonial ribbon cutting on Wednesday T he Tulalip Tribes opened the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Washington on Wednesday morning with a tribal blessing and a ceremonial ribbon cutting. The $125 million project is the latest in the tribes’ economic development west of I-5. “We are so excited that we are finally able to open up this building to offer a beautiful venue to our community and to our people,” said Teri Gobin, chairwoman of the tribes, as reported by The Daily Herald. Tribal members were encouraged to watch the limited opening from home due to the pandemic. Still, hundreds gathered to open the casino with a traditional welcome song, accompanied by the steady beat of ceremonial drums. The 1,500 slot machines blanket the 126,700-square-foot facility, 500 more than in the old casino. The amenities include a 212-seat, seven-restaurant dining hall open 24/7; a 137-seat restaurant for a-la-carte dining; three full-service bars; a snack shack; and an entertainment venue that fits 189. Ken Kettler, president and COO of the Tulalip Gaming Organization, said it took balance to design a space that kept the look and feel of the old digs while also making the improvements folks wanted to see. “We’re pleased with the extra we’ve been able to put on top of what was already a great success,” he said. At 2 a.m. Wednesday, operations ended at the old Quil Ceda Creek Casino. The casino’s fate is still uncertain, but Gobin said requests and proposals have been made for the location. Construction of the new casino began in late 2017, but issues between the tribes and the original general contractor postponed the anticipated 2019 completion date. With its location on sovereign tribal land, construction could be completed and the casino can open despite statewide COVID-19 lockdowns initiated by Gov. Jay Inslee. The casino will operate at 50% capacity through the pandemic and continue to monitor the science and statistics. “It’s worked out so far,” Kettler said. .
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