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Umatilla tribes plan casino expansion in Eastern Oregon

Mission, Oregon (AP)3-08

Wildhorse Resort & Casino on the Umatilla Indian Reservation will begin a $25 million expansion this summer to add more than 100 hotel rooms and a miniature version of the inundated Celilo Falls.

The project is planned for completion in the summer of 2009.

Wildhorse Chief Operating Officer Gary George said the goal is to become a destination resort. “We really want to upgrade the facility,” he said.

Contractors are to begin infrastructure work this summer.

The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla own and operate Wildhorse Resort & Casino east of Pendleton.

Aside from the hotel expansion of higher-end suites, an outdoor courtyard and a swimming pool, plans call for a new casino entrance and more parking.

There will be a water feature outside to create a miniature version of Celilo Falls, George said.

Celilo Falls was a salmon-rich fishing and trading area on the Columbia River that was inundated when The Dalles Dam was completed in 1957, embittering many members of area tribes.

Plans include a grass amphitheater behind the falls, more gaming tables and an increase in slot machines from 800 to 1,200.

Architectural details and financing should be in place in about a year, George said.

The Wildhorse board and tribal council must approve the final design.

George said Wildhorse may build a bowling alley or a small multiplex cinema after a tribal delegation to Las Vegas determined some casinos did well running cinemas.
reservations and in urban areas, and the rest of the U.S. population. Yet, the president has repeatedly requested zero funding for urban Indian health programs.”

 

 

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