Matt Rossman and Bruce Studer say they're trying to open a privately-owned casino, again.
I recently spoke with Grand Ronde Tribal Chairman Reyn Leno about the tribe's plans for the Multnomah Greyhound Park, which the tribe demolished earlier this week. Speculation to the contrary, Leno said the space will likely be anchored by a hotel, not a casino.
"You’ve got the gateway to the Gorge; you’re close to the airport, and you’re in a new and growing community. People want to get outside of Portland but not get too far. We’re thinking a hotel with entertainment," he said. "We’d like to feed off of this property and into Spirit Mountain, and have Spirit Mountain feed into this property."
Just two weeks later, it looks like others have their eye on the Wood Village casino market.
From the Portland Business Journal: R & S principals Matt Rossman and Bruce Studer say they're looking to open a privately operated resort casino and entertainment center. It would be Oregon's "first taxpaying and non-smoking casino."
Rossman, in an email, said the site "has been verified with the City of Wood Village as a location where a conditional use could be granted to permit commercial entertainment such as a casino."
Rossman and Studer are the same duo that tried to open a non-tribal casino back in 2010.
"Their plan calls for 3,500 slot machines (Spirit Mountain has fewer than 2,000), 150 gambling tables, a 290-room hotel, a concert hall, an indoor/outdoor water park with a flow wave machine for surfers, a 14-screen movie theater and 36 lanes of cosmic bowling. Clairvest, one of the investors in a recent casino development near Chicago’s O’Hare Airport, would finance the deal. Navegante, run by a former chairman of MGM, would design and manage the casino.
“The investment is there and the players are in place,” Studer said in 2010. “We’ve got the best team on the field.”
Read more on the history: Players angle for Portland casino
Wood Village Mayor Patricia Smith tells PBJ that the city is on board.
"We consider Matt and Bruce friends of the city ..." Smith said. "I look forward to continuing to work with them and believe the proposed development location for a resort casino and entertainment center could significantly help our local economy."
When Oregon Business reached Tribal spokesperson Dean Rhodes Friday afternoon he was surprised to hear the news. We'll update this story as more information becomes available.