Angel of the Winds Casino breaks ground on hotel expansion

An artist's rendering of what the new hotel at the Angel of the Winds Casino will look like, once it's complete in 2015.— image credit: Courtesy image.
An artist’s rendering of what the new hotel at the Angel of the Winds Casino will look like, once it’s complete in 2015.
— image credit: Courtesy image.

By Kirk Boxleitner, Arlington Times Reporter

ARLINGTON — Friday, Oct. 25, saw the Angel of the Winds Casino officially break ground on construction of a new $20-million, 125-room, five-story hotel.

“This is the next step in our growth of the Angel of the Winds Casino,” said Koran Andrews, CEO of the Stillaguamish Tribal Enterprise Corporation. “We continue to look at what our guests want, and develop those amenities.”

“We are truly blessed to have an opportunity to add a hotel to our facility, and provide more services to our guests,” Stillaguamish Tribal Chair Shawn Yanity said of the expansion, which will add more than 100,000 square feet to the casino, in the form of not only a new hotel, but also a new gift shop and smoke shop, as well as a porte-cochere to centralize guests’ entrances to the property. “Not only are we growing our tribal economy, but we’re growing the local economy, too, by increasing job opportunities and tourism.”

According to Travis O’Neil, general manager of the Angel of the Winds Casino, planning for the new hotel expansion began roughly 18 months ago, but the possibility of such an expansion was factored into the casino’s plans shortly before its previous expansion six years ago.

“We’ve got a master plan, but we also listen to our guests,” O’Neil said. “We blocked out the space for this sort of expansion, because we always had in mind that the Angel of the Winds Casino would become a destination resort. We might as well reach for the stars. We’ve got a good group of people, who do their best for our guests, and the Stillaguamish Tribe has been willing to support us, so long as they see our accomplishments.”

As far as O’Neil is aware, the Angel of the Winds Casino is one of the last, if not the last, casino on the I-5 corridor to add its own hotel, and he touted the new hotel — which is anticipated to open in the winter or spring of 2015, creating an estimated additional 50 jobs for the local community in the process — as “moderately priced, but not lower-end.”

“The hotel will be just as comfortable and nice as they’ve come to expect from the casino,” O’Neil said. “It promises to be a very good complement to the World’s Friendliest Casino.”

Beyond the jobs that will be created once the new hotel opens, O’Neil also touted the local construction jobs that will be created in the meantime, since he expects that the Bellingham-based Excel Pacific will retain a number of subcontractors, whose employees he believes will likely include more than a few folks from Marysville and Arlington.

“We’ve got other steps in our master plan, but it would be premature to discuss those at this point,” O’Neil said. “For right now, we just want to focus on making this hotel a success, and I just want to thank the Stillaguamish Tribe for the opportunities they’ve given me in this job. Their elders paved the way for this, and they’re supporting it because they’re mindful of leaving something to their future generations. It’s been a blessing to work with them.”

The Angel of the Winds Casino is located three minutes east of I-5 Exit 210 in Arlington.

New hotel to be paired with Angel of the Winds Casino


October 23, 2013

By Sharon Salyer, Everett Herald writer

Photo source: Angel of the winds casino
Photo source: Angel of the winds casino

ARLINGTON — The Angel of the Winds Casino, which drew more than 1 million visitors last year, has announced plans to add a $20 million, 125-room hotel.

Construction is scheduled to last 14 months. “I would like to see a grand opening maybe on New Year’s Eve of 2014,” said Travis O’Neil, the casino’s general manager, on Wednesday.

The casino, which opened in 2004, is one of the last along the I-5 corridor to add a hotel, he said.

The five-story hotel will make the casino a destination rather than just a day-trip site, he said. “It’s something the guests have been asking for for quite a while.”

The project also will add more than 100,000 square feet onto the casino and include a new gift shop, smoke shop and drive-up entryway.

Bellingham-based Exxel Pacific has been selected as the project’s general contractor.

Plans for the hotel have been under consideration for the past 18 months, O’Neil said. Casino staff went to members of the Stillaguamish Tribe to see “what we could do and what we could afford,” he said.

The hotel doesn’t aim to be a copy of the five-star, 370-room Tulalip Resort Casino, O’Neil said. Instead, he said, it will fit the character of the casino, known by its advertising tagline, “The World’s Friendliest Casino.”

Room prices will be in the $100- to $120-a-night range with plans to offer promotional packages with discounts on those rates, O’Neil said.

Groundbreaking for the project is scheduled for 10 a.m. Friday. Workers erected a fence around the construction site on Monday.

That has greatly reduced the parking on the south side of the casino, but parking on its north side hasn’t been affected. Shuttles are available to help people navigate the area, O’Neil said.

The casino is expected to hire an additional 50 employees to work at the hotel.

“We are truly blessed to have an opportunity to add a hotel to our facility and provide more services to our guests,” Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe, said in a statement. “Not only are we growing our tribal economy, but growing the local economy too by increasing job opportunities and tourism.”

The last major expansion at the casino, at 3438 Stoluckquamish Lane, was in 2008, a $44 million project that tripled the size of its gaming area.

Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486;

Veterans Helping Veterans ride for Hearts Toward Home International June 8

Marysville Globe

SMOKEY POINT — The third annual Veterans Helping Veterans Spring Run will start at Sound Harley-Davidson in Smokey Point and end at the Angel of the Winds Casino in Arlington on Saturday, June 8.

The pre-ride briefing is slated to start at 10:45 a.m., in time for the motorcycles to go out by 11 a.m. The casino will greet riders with a slot tournament, as well as a raffle and silent auction in its banquet room.

“We strongly believe that our community is not just where we live, but is the place we have chosen to make a home for our families,” said Tracy “Chainz” Rowe, president of the Washington State Chapter B of the Warrior Brotherhood Veterans Motorcycle Club. “For this reason, we want to strengthen our ties within our community, and in doing so, provide assistance to the military community, veterans and their families.”

The club is a nonprofit veterans organization, and the annual spring run’s proceeds go to benefit Hearts Toward Home International.

“We have more than 60 items, valued in excess of $5,000, for the raffle and silent auction,” Rowe said. “The more folks we get to attend, the more money we can raise for Dr. Bridget Cantrell, who was appointed the 2004 and 2008 Outstanding Female Non-Veteran, for her service to veterans, by the Governor’s Veterans Affairs Advisory Committee and the Washington State Department of Veterans Affairs.”

Cantrell is the founder and CEO of Hearts Toward Home International, a charitable nonprofit organization dedicated to the recovery and reintegration of trauma survivors. Since 2008, Hearts Toward Home International has been received the Best of Bellingham Award, in the Nonprofit Charitable Organization category, by the U.S. Local Business Association for three years.

MicroGREEN Polymers and Stillaguamish Tribe Announce Strategic Investment


Stillaguamish to Invest $5 Million to Enhance MicroGREEN Polymers’ Strategic Growth Plans. MicroGREEN to Provide Stillaguamish with Environmentally Responsible Packaging

ARLINGTON, Wash., Jan. 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — 

MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. (MicroGREEN) today announced that the Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians has made a strategic investment of $5 million in MicroGREEN.  This round of funding, the first closing in a $20 million round, will enable MicroGREEN to expand its commercial production capabilities to produce a wide range of environmentally responsible cups and trays for consumer use. The Stillaguamish Tribe will also use MicroGREEN’s cups in their Angel of the Winds Casino and other businesses.

“We are very excited to have the Stillaguamish Tribe as both an investor and customer,” said Tom Malone , president and chief executive officer of MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc. “Our sustainability ethos resonated with the Stillaguamish Tribe, and while we have investment from venture capital and corporate strategic funds, including Waste Management and WRF Capital, we have refocused our funding efforts toward other like-minded Tribes.”

Koran Andrews , CEO of the Stillaguamish Tribal Enterprise Corporation commented, “We first approached MicroGREEN about purchasing their InCycleTM cup for use in our casino but immediately recognized how the InCycle products could be a strategic fit in our sustainability and economic diversification goals.  We are committed to a strategy of diversifying our investment portfolio into enterprises whose goals, values and products align with those of our people, protecting our planet for generations to come while also contributing to the economic health of the Tribe.” 

“There’s a convergence of sustainability and economic return at MicroGREEN,” Malone said.  “Our technology allows us to use less plastic to produce high quality products.  The recycled content and recyclability of InCycle products, coupled with their lightweight nature means that we are creating some of the greenest packaging products available, while having the advantage of being a low cost producer.  Our investors are excited to see us developing products for airlines, food processors and quick serve restaurants which address a $25 billion market.”

“MicroGREEN has a breakthrough technology with fantastic traction across a number of packaging applications,” said Andrews. “They are truly an innovative player in packaging; reducing waste while lowering cost and improving product performance. We see a huge opportunity for growth both in supplying Native American owned casinos and convenience stores as well as broadly across the economy.

MicroGREEN is an innovative plastics company that uses its patented Ad-air® technology to create its own InCycle brand of insulating and temperature resistant cups, trays and other items are made from expanded, recycled PET (recycled water bottles).  The production process makes PET lightweight without using chemical blowing agents, and because the plastic is not chemically altered, it can be recycled at the end of its life.  The technology lowers the raw material cost and reduces the weight of plastic products while improving functionality.  By using recycled content and insuring that InCycle products are recyclable, MicroGREEN is contributing to the groundswell of support for #1 PET resin, the most widely recycled plastic in the world.

MicroGREEN’s commercial production facility in Arlington, Washington has the design capacity to convert at least 20 million pounds of PET per year.  Arlington Mayor Barbara Tolbert commented, “MicroGREEN currently employs 45 people and expects to significantly expand its workforce to handle demand over the next 12 months.  Arlington is thrilled to be home to MicroGREEN.”

Recently MicroGREEN was awarded a Silver prize by prestigious DuPont Awards for Packaging Innovation as well as a Silver prize for manufacturing by the Green Washington Award.   The company was also named to the 2012 Washington Green 50 list.  MicroGREEN has also been recognized by the Wall Street Journal’s Innovation Awards as well as awards from Green Washington and Washington Manufacturing in previous years.

SOURCE MicroGREEN Polymers, Inc.