The Cowlitz Tribe plans to build a $510 million casino resort near La Center off I-5. The tribe hopes to break ground in 2014 after 11 years of fighting.
The Cowlitz Tribe has 3,750 members but no land of its own. The tribe has been maneuvering since it was recognized by the U.S. government in 2000 to establish a trust on 152 acres of rolling hay fields. Its plan is to build a gaming complex, hotel, restaurants, retail stores, a tribal headquarters and elder housing on a newly established reservation.
One independent analyst, ECONorthwest, said the casino would generate gross gambling revenues of more than $600 to $700 million a year. Studies have shown the casino would cut into profits from La Center's card rooms and place a burden on schools, housing and traffic but would also stimulate non-casino business. The tribe has vowed to pay for infrastructure improvements and public services for the casino complex.
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