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Tribe rolls dice on new casino options

HANSVILLE — The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is placing its bets the public will react well to a new retail and commercial space planned to be constructed in the next couple of years — a complex that will include a new Point Casino building and hotel.

Tribal Chief Executive Officer Doug Quade revealed several of the tribe’s high cards to the Greater Hansville Area Advisory Council at a Tuesday night meeting in the form of four preliminary designs and potential ideas for the new casino.

“We’ve had two open houses so far, one with the tribe and one with (The Point Casino Players Club),” Quade said. “I brought four drawings of site designs, including the look of the full interior, the look of the full exterior. We have approximately 60 acres of 80 acres reserved on Hansville Road for this commercial development.”

Though still in the early stages of designing the new retail area, the tribe is fairly confident the casino and hotel will be built south of the current gaming structure, with other commercial buildings located around it. He said the tribe is unsure what specific businesses or ventures could be added in the complex, but they may be announced in the near future.

“We have met with (Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe development authority director Phil Dorn) to request a portion of the commercial area be set aside for elder housing,” said GHAAC member Ray Rohay, who has been a strong advocate for senior housing in Hansville.

Quade said such an entity will most likely not fit with this particular plan, though he did say the tribe investigated the idea before setting it aside.

“Too bad,” Rohay said in response.

There was some concern about what would happen with the current casino building and if the Gliding Eagle Market and gas station would stay on the corner of Hansville Road and Little Boston Road. Quade said nothing would change regarding the market and gas station, the new casino would be located just north of it. The Point Casino has discussed using the smaller building for behind-the-scenes operations, but nothing has been confirmed. The Point Casino will continue to operate until the new structures have been completed, when it will shift gaming over to the new area.

“Just looking at that design, it kind of looks like it clashes with the Gliding Eagle a bit,” said GHAAC member Linda Redling of the potential exterior design for the new project. Quade said the tribe had decided on a Northwest modern theme. “Should you stay within the same concept of the other buildings?”

“The concept we have is a really nice community feeling retail area,” Quade said. “You will be able to see the whole thing from the road, and we want it to look like it belongs. The existing casino has a 17,000 square feet gaming area. The new one will have 30,000 square feet for gaming, and 70,000 to 90,000 square feet total.”

The project is still in the early design stage, he said, but the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe is pursuing an aggressive timeline and hoping to see a completion date by the end of 2008.

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