Sponsored by Oregon Business

Tribe puts hope in new casino

| Print |  Email
Articles - Jan/Feb 2012
Thursday, January 19, 2012

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

Beyond Bodegas

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER

Five years in the making, the Portland Mercado — the city’s first Latino public market — will celebrate its grand opening April 11. A $3.5 million public-private partnership spearheaded by Hacienda CDC, the market will house 15 to 20 businesses in the food, retail and service sectors. It has some big-name funders, including the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and JPMorgan Chase. The project goals are equally ambitious: to improve cross-cultural understanding, alleviate poverty and spur community economic development. 


Read more...

Much ado about data-driven organizations, for good reason

Contributed Blogs
Monday, April 13, 2015
bigdatathumbBY GRANT KIRBY | OP-ED CONTRIBUTOR

The mega-shift from technology-driven to data-driven organizations raises questions about Oregon’s workforce preparedness.


Read more...

On the Road

April 2015
Friday, March 27, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

My daughter turned 18 last week, and for her birthday I got her a Car2Go membership. Not to label myself a disruptor or anything, but it felt like a groundbreaking moment. The two of us, mother and child, were participating in a new teen rite of passage: Instead of handing over the car keys, I handed over a car-sharing card — with the caveat that she not use the gift as her own personal car service.


Read more...

Car Talk

April 2015
Thursday, March 26, 2015
BY LINDA BAKER

Everyone knows cell phones and driving are a lethal combination. The risk is especially high for teenage drivers, whose delusions of immortality pose such a threat to us all. Enforcement alas, remains feeble; more promising are pedagogical approaches aimed at getting people to focus on the road, not their devices.


Read more...

100 Best: The Power of the Worker

March 2015
Wednesday, February 25, 2015
BY KIM MOORE | OB RESEARCH EDITOR
AND AMY MILSHTEIN | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Technology is empowering people like never before and transforming how employees interact in the workplace. How can companies attract and keep staff engaged in this rapidly changing world?


Read more...

Help Wanted: Poached Jobs aids restaurateurs

March 2015
Friday, February 20, 2015
BY JACOB PALMER | OB DIGITAL NEWS EDITOR

“We thought there was room for something new.”


Read more...

Downtime with the president of NAI Norris, Beggs & Simpson

March 2015
Monday, February 23, 2015
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY | OB CONTRIBUTOR

Live, Work, Play: Catching up with Chris Johnson.


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