OMAK — 12 Tribes Resort Casino opens today with a full range of gambling, two restaurants, a nightclub and gaming-floor bar.
Today’s soft opening starts at 8 a.m. at 28968 U.S. Highway 97, just south of town. Casino officials plan a 24/7 operation initially.
Hourly cash drawings, and hors d’oeuvres and mimosas will help kick off the opening.
“The level of excitement is huge here, even with the employees,” Creative Media Specialist Stephanie Day said.
“It’s exciting,” Omak Mayor Cindy Gagne said. “We’ve waited for it for a long time. It’s a spurt to our economic growth.”
Gagne was among those asked to speak at a ribbon cutting yesterday afternoon. Colville tribal and other local dignitaries were scheduled to be in attendance.
The new, $43 million facility is designated as the Colville Confederated Tribes’ flagship gaming and entertainment facility, and will replace the Okanogan Casino. The 56,000-square-foot casino side of the operation is opening first, with the 80-room hotel to follow June 22.
A grand opening will be scheduled in July.
Along with a variety of Class III games — from slots and other games to craps, roulette, poker and blackjack — the facility will offer Yu Bistro, a modern Asian eatery, and the Camas dining room, featuring upscale American and family cuisine. Snuggled in between the two restaurants is Evolution, a nightclub featuring an entertainment stage and 8x12-foot television screen.
“Everything here is by design,” Marketing Manager Jessica Loe said. “It is just beautiful.”
“We think it’s the nicest looking in the state,” gaming Chief Operating Officer Randy Williams said. “We open everyone else will be happy with it.”
If advance bookings and buzz are any indication, people already are happy, Group Sales Coordinator Lovee Eldridge said.
“My phone is ringing off the hook,” she said. “There is a lot of interest from the Canadian market, Idaho and Oregon.”
She’s working on lining up a variety of events, including Corvette, dog, native art and quilt shows, plus special tours and meetings.
“Really, it’s selling itself. It’s selling like crazy,” Eldridge said.
All the interest — a local retirement party already is booked for June 26 — “shows how excited people from the community are to have a venue like this,” Day said.
Poprocks will inaugurate Evolution this weekend with shows at 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Other groups booked into the nightclub include The Afrodisiacs on June 26, Mr. Pink on June 27 and Nitecrew on July 3-4.
Gamblers who belong to the Players Advantage Club — membership is free — will have the opportunity to win a variety of prizes, including a fully loaded, red obsession-colored, 2015 Cadillac ATS during the opening days.
The ATS starts at more than $33,000, according to Cadillac’s website.
A Father’s Day drawing features a gas grill and gift card. All men who visit the casino will receive a free Father’s Day gift on a first-come, first-serve basis.
Eldridge, Day and Loe are working together on promotions and marketing for the casino. They’re also working with other businesses to set up package deals that might include, say a casino stay and golf.
And, while the casino is going after the Canadian market aggressively, the three say the facility will offer plenty for local folks.
“We’re training the staff in four-star service,” said Eldridge, a Brit who’s a veteran of 20 years working in casinos on the Las Vegas strip.
Day is a 2003 Omak graduate and Loe graduated from Lake Roosevelt in 2006. Both say they’re excited to be working on the casino project.
Other amenities will include a sweet shop, private banquet and meeting rooms, valet parking, catering, a spa, sauna, weight room, indoor pool, indoor-outdoor hot tub, hotel suites and rooms - some with heated towel racks and TV/mirrors, jetted tubs and room service.
Those who plan to gamble must be age 18 or older, but minors are welcome in the hotel and restaurants, casino officials said.
Smoking will be allowed, but a special air-clearing system will keep smoke from lingering, Williams said.
People can visit the facility to gamble, have a meal, stay at the hotel or visit with others, and the operations should appeal to day visitors as well as those who want to stay longer, he said.
Taylor Woodstone of Bloomington, Minn., is the prime contractor.
Editor's Note: This is the third in a four-part series about the opening of the new 12 Tribes Resort Casino.