The Kalispel Tribe of Indians, in what appears to be an escalating competition with the Coeur dAlene Tribes growing hotel and casino complex near Worley, Idaho, this week launched a multimillion-dollar expansion of its Northern Quest Casino in Airway Heights.
The project will add 59,000 square feet of space to the north side of the 92,000-square-foot complex, at 100 N. Hayford, tribal representatives say. The expansion will include a 16,000-square-foot entertainment center with seating for 1,000, a new buffet restaurant with seating for 250, and an expanded gift shop. Also planned are a 24-hour caf, a deli, and a sports bar with memorabilia focusing on Inland Northwest athletes.
Additionally, an auditorium at the casino called the Pend Oreille Pavilion will be turned into a nonsmoking gaming area with 200 new video slot terminals, boosting the casino to about 1,200 gaming terminals overall, and the casinos entire ventilation system will be upgraded. The Pend Oreille Pavilion currently is used for entertainment events and offers seating for up to 400 people.
The expansion project will create about 250 temporary construction jobs, and will add about 100 new positions to the casinos current work force of nearly 700, the tribe says. Its expected to be completed by late September. The Kalispels didnt disclose how much the project is expected to cost.
Were proud of what weve been able to accomplish and where were headed. Its an exciting time for the tribe, the casino, and the community, says Curt Holmes, the tribes public and government affairs director.
Of the planned opening of the nonsmoking gaming area and the ventilation-system upgrades, he says, Our guests told us what they wanted and we listened.
Jennifer Simmons, casino spokeswoman, says the sports bar will be located in the casinos current buffet restaurant space and will include a high-rollers area, called the Alumni Room, where a smaller bar currently is located. The project also will include the addition of some warehouse space and a loading dock on the west side of the casino, she says.
Business will continue as usual during construction at the casino with the possibility of only minor interruptions, the tribe says. Several scheduled entertainment events, including Late Night Catechism, The Big Band Series, and The Rock-n-Roll Series, will continue as planned, it says.
Womer & Associates, of Spokane, and the Worth Group, of Las Vegas, are providing design services on the project, and Kraus-Anderson, of Minneapolis is the general contractor.
The Kalispels built a $6.9 million, 36,600-square-foot addition onto the original 55,000-square-foot casino in 2002. Late last year, it bought for future development about 111 acres of undeveloped land south of the casino, but it hasnt disclosed plans yet.
Northern Quest Casino is the biggest competitor in the Spokane-Coeur dAlene area to the Coeur dAlene Casino, which earlier this week opened a 27,000-square-foot expansion of its gaming floor. That expansion was part of an overall $15 million project started by the Coeur dAlene Tribe last summer that also involved nearly doubling the size of the hotel there. The Coeur dAlene Tribe earlier had developed and opened the nearby Circling Raven Golf Course.
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