S’Klallam Tribe revisiting hotel idea



by KIPP ROBERTSON,  Kingston Community News Reporter

Apr 10, 2014

LITTLE BOSTON — A plan to build a hotel adjacent to The Point Casino is back on the table for discussion.

The Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribal Council will hear a proposal for the hotel in the near future, according to Kelly Sullivan, the Tribe’s executive director of Tribal Services. The exact date was not set as of April 10.

Sullivan visited other casino hotels recently, among them the Lummi Nation’s Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa and the Swinomish Tribe’s Swinomish Casino & Lodge.

Plans are in the early stages and a feasibility study is being done. The council will determine whether to move ahead with the project.

“[The council] could say ‘no’ and this couldn’t go any farther,” Sullivan said.

If the project proceeds, the hotel may be built on the site of the old Point Casino. The hotel could have a similar footprint, Sullivan said, and would be about 100 rooms. The hotel would need to operate fluidly with the casino and parking.

The old casino is being used as office and storage space.

The hotel would be one of two in the north end. It would allow guests of the casino to stay later for gaming and nighttime events, Sullivan said.

It’s not the first time there’s been talk of a hotel to accompany the Point. In 2007, plans discussed with the public included a 100,000-square-foot casino and 11-story hotel. However, the size of the casino was scaled back and the hotel removed from the plans — at least for the time being.

A hotel would be the latest of several economic development and recreation ventures in the last few years for the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.

Port Gamble S’Klallam bought Heronswood botanical gardens in 2012, and is growing it as an event venue and place of horticultural learning. That year, the Tribe opened its new Point Casino, with restaurants, an event center and displays of S’Klallam art.

On April 12, the Tribe will dedicate its new skatepark, which was developed with the assistance of the Sheckler Foundation. And the Tribal Council may vote soon on setting aside land for a sports complex for the Kingston Youth Sports Association.

All told, about 550 people work for Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s government and economic development ventures.