South Thurston County’s Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel announced a $40 million expansion plan on Thursday, including a parking garage that will provide space for 250 additional vehicles.
The casino is operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Chehalis.
“This is great news for the Chehalis Tribe and our surrounding communities,” tribal Chairman Don Secena said in a statement on Thursday. “We can’t wait to get started.”
The work, which is expected to create hundreds of temporary construction jobs, will begin in early February and take 16-18 months to complete, said John Setterstrom, the longtime general manager of the casino.
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He also said the expansion will create 50 to 75 permanent jobs. The casino and hotel currently employ 720.
In addition to the 120,000-square-foot parking garage, the casino will expand by 41,000 square feet, including additional gaming, food service and administrative space. It also will get a new sports bar and grill, more meeting and entertainment space, and a new player’s club and lounge.
The parking garage also will be built in such a way that it sits above the expansion, allowing guests to go directly from their cars to the casino floor, according to a news release.
Setterstrom said the expansion will help the casino and hotel operations remain competitive in a market that includes the Squaxin Island Tribe’s Little Creek Casino Resort and the Nisqually Tribe’s Red Wind Casino.
The Cowlitz Tribe also has proposed a new casino in La Center, he said. Many of Lucky Eagle’s customers travel from the Portland area, Setterstrom added.
Red Wind is undergoing its own expansion, which will grow the casino and has added more parking.
The 171-room Eagles Landing Hotel is connected to Lucky Eagle Casino.