New Oregon casino opens amid coastal storm

Florence, Oregon (AP) 12-07

Amid a storm, the $56 million Three Rivers Casino has opened in Florence.

About three hours before the scheduled opening during early December, the power was out for a time, and the winds were whipping at 50 mph.

But more than 350 people showed up for a brief opening ceremony.

Within 15 minutes, the gambling floor was full and the five restaurants were packed. Reservations for rooms in the 93-room “boutique” hotel have been booked for weeks.

“We hope that it means self-sufficiency for the tribe,” said Chief David Brainard of the Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians. “We’ve been directed by the government to take care of ourselves, and this is one way that we should be able to do it.”