12 Tribes Resort and Casino nearly ready

Work is wrapping up on the gaming floor of Omak’s new 12 Tribes Resort and Casino, slated for a soft opening June 17.

OMAK — 12 Tribes Resort and Casino, designated as the Colville Confederated Tribes’ flagship gaming and entertainment facility, will open to the public June 17.

The 56,000-square-foot casino side of the operation will open first, with the 80-room hotel to follow June 22. A grand opening will be scheduled in July.

The casino, 28968 U.S. Highway 97, will be twice the size of the existing Okanogan Casino, which will close when the new facility opens, gaming Chief Operating Officer Randy Williams said.

Along with Class III games, the casino will offer two restaurants, a nightclub, sweet shop and private banquet room. Valet parking will be offered.

“It’s a beautiful casino,” said Williams, who has worked for the tribe a number of years. “We think it’s the nicest looking in the state. We hope everyone else will be happy with it.”

“It will be the flagship for the tribe,” Project Manager Karl Jackson said.

Colville Tribal Federal Corp., the tribe’s business arm, is spending around $43 million on the facility, which sits on a hill overlooking Omak and the Okanogan Valley, said Gaming Manager Bryon Miller, who’s worked for the tribe for 21 years.

Initially, the tribe plans a 24/7 operation and will employ more than 200 people in three shifts.

Visitors will be greeted by a seating area and floor-to-ceiling, lighted water sculpture. They can check out the games or move past the gaming floor to the restaurant and night club area or to the hotel wing, which features rooms and suites with heated towel racks, TV/mirrors and jetted tubs, room service, an indoor pool, sauna, exercise room and indoor-outdoor hot tub.

Over the gaming floor, sculptural glass bubbles are suspended above the ceiling. Pathways, either of tile set on the diagonal or of carpet, will lead visitors to other parts of the building.

Those paths will help underage visitors navigate to food services and the hotel, Williams said. The minimum gambling age is 18; the casino will employ security personnel to help guide folks.

“Our market is an adult market,” Miller said.

One restaurant will feature Asian cuisine and the other will offer family and fine dining choices. Breakfast, lunch and dinner will be offered.

The nightclub, Evolution, will offer live entertainment including comedy shows, fights and music.

Near the front entrance, the sweet shop will offer coffee, bulk candy — including old-time sweets — pastries and ice cream, Williams said.

Smoking will be allowed, but a special air-clearing system will keep smoke from lingering.

The 12 Tribes facility is “the first major ‘built’ casino for the tribes,” he said.

Although the gaming floor at Mill Bay Casino in Coulee Dam is a similar size, it is housed in a “sprung” building, Miller said.

Along with gaming machines such as slots, the facility will offer poker, craps, roulette, blackjack and other novelty games. Machines will change regularly.

“We’re a full entertainment venue,” he said.

The 12 Tribes organization already has done marketing in Canada and the Seattle area, and “we are getting quite a few reservations” for the hotel, Williams said.

“We will have an extensive busing program with Canada, Seattle and maybe Spokane, he said. “There will be folks wanting to see the new casino.”

People can visit the facility to gamble, have dinner, 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.

“We’re here to provide entertainment to the customer,” he said. “We want it to be a relaxed atmosphere.”

Taylor Woodstone of Bloomington, Minn., is the prime contractor.

Editor’s Note: This is the first in a four-part series on the opening of the new 12 Tribes Resort and Casino.

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