Tulalips break ground on new casino (slide show)

The Tulalip Tribes on Tuesday broke ground on a new $140 million replacement for the Quil Ceda Creek Casino.

Not to be outdone, the Stillaguamish Tribe announced the next day it is spending $3.4 million to have the arena in Everett named Angel of the Winds Arena for the next 10 years.

For Tulalip, the new 120,000-square-foot casino, known as “QCC2,” will be built on 15 acres across Marine View Drive from the existing casino at 6410 33 Ave. NE. QCC2 is scheduled to be completed in spring 2019.

Amenities will include a spacious gaming floor with 1,500 slot machines and more table games, state-of-the-art smoke elimination system, an innovative new dining hall, an entertainment venue, 150-room hotel and 1,200-stall covered parking garage.

“We believe this is going to be the best casino hotel property in the Northwest,” said Teresa Jira, the casino’s executive president. She addressed some 200 dignitaries and other guests at the ceremony. Vice Chairwoman Teri Gobin said the project will deliver jobs and economic development for the tribes. Already, 2,400 employees work at their two casinos and bingo hall. Gobin said, “This will be a good project for our community and the surrounding communities that benefit.”

Les Parks, tribal board member and business chairman, talked about when bingo made room for gaming in 1983.

Ten years later, Tulalip signed the first gaming compact in Washington state to open a casino and table games.

The tribes built the Tulalip Resort Casino in 2004 and added a 12-story hotel in 2008 at Quil Ceda Village.

There were no doubts that it was time to construct a larger Quil Ceda Creek Casino. “That little building was bursting at the seams,” Parks said.

QCC2 will be a little less than two-thirds the size of the 192,000-square-foot Tulalip Casino. Parks said the groundbreaking date set in motion relocation of the tribal court and police department into their larger and newly remodeled offices in the former Hewlitt-Packard building across the street to the west.

The new hotel will also feature a VIP/Business Lounge, coffee bar, additional special event and meeting facilities with a catering kitchen and recreation space that includes a pool and spa/exercise room. The innovative design of the new hotel accommodates potential future expansion.

Ken Kettler, president and chief operating office of Tulalip Resort Casino, said he remembers listening to tribal elder Stan Jones say, ‘Stay the course’, and we did.”

“North Snohomish is going to continue to grow by leaps and bounds, and we’re a locals joint, as we say,” Kettler said. Staff at the Quil work to create personal relationships with guests. “It’s like Cheers, where everybody knows your name.”

Kettler said they wanted to create an atmosphere of “not just bigger and better – there’s more to love. We’re expanding, and we’re going to give you more of it.”

In Arlington, the little casino on the hill keeps growing and growing, and now reaches all the way to Everett with its Angel of the Winds Arena.

New exterior signage will go up over the coming months, along with updates within the arena to reflect the name change. Ticket information for all upcoming events can be found at angelofthewindsarena.com. “The arena at Everett is one of the Northwest’s leading sports and entertainment venues, which is why the Stillaguamish Tribe is proud to be entering into a sponsorship agreement to create the Angel Of The Winds Arena,” said Travis O’Neil, general manager of Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort. Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe, said, “Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort has provided the Stillaguamish Tribe with many great opportunities over the past thirteen-plus years to grow and improve our quality of life programs for our members and also give back to our neighbors within Snohomish County.”

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