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New casino opens strong in Florence

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Tuesday, January 01, 2008

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FLORENCE Three Rivers Casino & Hotel is settling nicely into its new digs. Despite relocating just last month from the pop-up tent that formerly housed the gaming operation to its new $60 million facility, by mid-December the casino’s 93-room hotel was already booked for New Year’s weekend.

“Each day we get probably 3,000 or 4,000 people,” says Rich Colton, director of consumer marketing for Three Rivers.

The casino, which features slots, table games, an entertainment center and five restaurants, opened its doors Dec. 1, during one of the worst storms in recent history on the Oregon Coast. But even that didn’t stop gamers from lining up.

“Despite Mother Nature, with the storm, we had probably over 500 or 600 people waiting,” Colton says.

With an annual payroll of $11 million, the casino — owned and operated by the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians — is also a boon to the local economy. The expansion has brought more than 250 new jobs to the town of around 8,000, according to Colton.

A grand opening is planned for Jan. 19-21, and Colton anticipates another full house. Any overflow the hotel will refer to other local lodging.

“If we’re sold out, we send everybody business,” Colton says. “And we’ve been doing that.”                   

JAMIE HARTFORD


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