If you follow the local news in Spokane lately you have surely heard by now that the Spokane Tribe of Indians has proposed a large new casino and mixed use development on land the Tribe owns at Hwy 2 and Craig Rd in Airway Heights and close by the main gate for the Fairchild Air Force Base.The casino is hot button issue for many with some being concerned that an off-reservation casino is not needed and that it is too close to Fairchild which could bring about gambling issues as well such a large scale project being possibly in a crash zone for the base,something that Fairchild has stepped up enforcement of in recent months.
But the Spokane Tribe of Indians has their valid reasons also why a casino in Airway Heights would be the answer.The Tribe has had long battles with high unemployment on the their reservation which is to the northwest of the Spokane Metro Area.The tribe also notes that since the opening of the hotel and expansion at the nearby Northern Quest Resort and Casino(owned by the Kalispel Tribe) the revenues have dropped by large amounts at the 2 small casino's the Spokane's already own and operate which are the Two Rivers in near Davenport and the Chewelah Casino in Chewelah .
And that's just the tip of the iceberg so as you can see this issue won't be going away anytime soon so it I figured now is a good time to take a look at what all is being planned for the site in Airway Heights.The Spokane Tribe says the development will create 3800 new jobs on a 50 million dollar payroll.Some of those proposed jobs will be in the main casino which is to be in the center of the site,also attached to the main casino is a shopping center like area,convention space and a hotel tower.Parking is provided on many surface parking areas on all 4 sides of the building but also in a parking garage which will go in on the west side of the main casino building.Inside the main building will also be a spa and a variety of restaurants.
Heading away from the main large casino will be the Spokofuel gas station which is already open and an Arby's restaurant owned by the Tribe which will open this year next door to Spokofuel.Also nearby Spokofuel is more retail space with 3 pad sites and a space for a big box retailer,behind the casino is more commercial land and space donated to the City of Airway Heights for a new fire and police station.And last but not least a Tribal Cultural Center on the Northwest side of the site by a small lake.It's easy to see that this project one of Spokane's largest and very controversial,recently the Tribe presented the environmental findings for the project and that report can be found at http://www.westplainseis.com while on the West Plains EIS site one can also put in a comment and view photos and maps of the site,Another good reference for more on this issue check out http://www.stepspokane.com
This proposed casino and commercial development is something to watch,let Inland Northwest Business Watch know what you think by commenting on our Facebook page at..... http://www.facebook.com/inlandnorthwestbusinesswatch