Cowlitz Project reveals name of SW WA casino resort

Facility named "Ilani Resort", which means "to sing"

Workers reveal the name of the new Cowlitz casino resort. June 20, 2016 (KOIN)

RIDGEFIELD, Wa. (KOIN) — Construction is well underway for the Cowlitz Project southwest Washington, and now the casino resort even has a name: Ilani.

Project managers and members of the Cowlitz Tribe announced the name Monday. Ilani means “to sing” in the Cowlitz native language.

The $510 million casino resort project is more than a decade in the making after the Cowlitz Tribe formed a partnership with the Mohegan Tribe.

The facility will be 368,000 square feet. Construction workers tell KOIN 6 the casino level is going to be about 275,000 square feet, and will feature 15 different bar, restaurant, retail and entertainment establishments. There will also be an event center designed to seat 2,500 people.

“We’re not targeting just gamers with this facility,” said project General Manager Kara Fox-LaRose. “We really will be unique within the gaming market in Washington.”

The resort is already beginning to fill some of the more than 1,000 permanent positions the facility will be bringing to the area. They’ll be holding job fairs later in the summer to fill the rest of the positions.

“Whether you’re interested in hospitality, back of house, human resources, IT, facilities, (or) marketing, a lot of great things are happening,” said Fox-LaRose.

Fox-LaRose described their industry as a multi-faceted and ever-changing business, which will require them to lean on local help.

“We will have a lot of needs, and a lot of needs that quite often have quick turnarounds, so partnering with local vendors is a focus of ours,” she said.

The resort is slated to open to the public in spring of 2017.

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