Sponsored by Forest Grove Economic Development
Home Back Issues Jan/Feb 2012 Tribe puts hope in new casino

Tribe puts hope in new casino

| Print |  Email
Articles - Jan/Feb 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012
Article Index
Tribe puts hope in new casino
Page 2

By Linda Baker

0112_Casino_01
Above: Construction crews work on the new Indian Head Casino on Highway 26 near the Warm Springs Museum. Below: Warm Springs tribal council members Reuben Henry, Scott Moses and Olney "JP" Patt Jr. voted last February to relocate the Kah-Nee-Ta casino. The new facility, which is expected to generat 200 jobs, is scheduled to open on Feb. 4.
// Photos by Alexandra Shyshkina
0112_Casino_02

On a Tuesday in January, employees at the Kah-Nee-Ta tribal casino undertook an arduous task: dismantling 300 slot machines in four hours, to be reassembled at the casino’s new temporary location about 10 miles away on Highway 26. “It was amazing,” says Ken Billingsley, manager of the Indian Head Casino, which is scheduled to open Feb. 4. Taking apart the machines was supposed to be at least a one-day project, says Billingsley. “But these people were all over it. Morale is sky high.”

The day after the dismantling, Billingsley and about a half dozen tribal leaders gathered at the construction site to discuss the reasons for moving the casino to its new location, across the highway from the Warm Springs Museum. The Kah-Nee-Ta gambling facility, which opened in 1995 and is now closed, was situated at the end of a long and winding road and generated about $3 million annually. The 40,000-square-foot temporary casino, almost twice the size of the original, is expected to generate about $12 million annually, along with 200 new jobs.

Despite the economic benefits, tribal members say the temporary casino is just that — a placeholder as the 5,040-member tribe continues to pursue a controversial off-reservation casino in Cascade Locks. An economic study commissioned by the tribe shows that Cascade Locks “is the best location to meet all the tribe’s needs,” says Deepak Sehgal, board chairman of Indian Head Casino. “We’re not taking our eyes off that.”

Like much of rural Oregon, the Confederated Tribes depended for many years on resource extraction; at its peak in the 1980s, an onsite mill produced 110 million board feet annually. The tribe’s focus on timber resources, as well as a conservative leadership style, caused Warm Springs “to miss the curve” when it came to tribal gaming opportunities, says Olney “JP” Patt Jr., a council member. Tribal leaders made the dubious decision to site the Kah-Nee-Tah casino in a remote location; they also missed a key 1988 deadline to purchase tribal trust land in Cascade Locks, a move that might have facilitated construction of the proposed venue in the Columbia River Gorge.

 



 

More Articles

The Scott Kveton affair

News
Wednesday, July 09, 2014
ScottKvetonBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Scott Kveton, the CEO of Urban Airship is taking a leave of absence from the company. As the story continues to unfold, here’s our perspective on a few of the key players.


Read more...

The global challenge

News
Friday, June 27, 2014
062714 thumb globalmarketBY JASON NORRIS | OB BLOGGER

Over the last several months we have seen a wave of cross-border acquisitions, primarily U.S.-based companies looking to purchase non-U.S.-based companies. There are a few reasons for this, but the main culprit is the U.S. corporate tax system. The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world.


Read more...

Attack of the Robin Sages

Contributed Blogs
Monday, July 07, 2014
070714 thumb linkedinfakesBY TOM COX | OB BLOGGER

Named after the 2010 experiment by Thomas Ryan, "Robin Sages" are fake social media profiles designed to encourage linking and divulging valuable information.


Read more...

EPA Standards: A breath of fresh air for the region

News
Thursday, June 12, 2014
EPABY ANDREA DURBIN | OB GUEST BLOGGER

Last week, the Obama administration took an important and welcomed step in the effort to protect the health and well-being of all Oregonians by limiting carbon pollution from existing power plants.


Read more...

Community colleges and sustainability

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 31, 2014
sustainabilityBY MARY SPILDE | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

Faced with the aftermath of the “great recession,” increasing concern about the environment and dwindling family wage jobs, we have some very important choices to make about our future.


Read more...

Why I became an Oregon angel investor

Guest Blog
Monday, July 14, 2014
AngelInvestBY TERRY "STARBUCKER" ST. MARIE

I really didn’t know that much about angel investing, but I did know a lot about the entrepreneurial spirit.


Read more...

Portland: Where young people go to work?

News
Friday, June 06, 2014
UntitledBY KATIE AUSBURGER | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

How to build a hipster-friendly work environment.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS