Tribal members hard at work remodeling the TRC Conference Center

By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

Early last year, the Tulalip Resort Casino (TRC) underwent an extensive renovation to its hotel tower, guest rooms and suites. Keeping in line with its AAA Four Diamond status means staying ahead of the curve and constantly looking for new ways to keep guests coming back. Currently, that same attention to detail and refreshing look that went into the hotel renovation is being given to the TRC’s Conference Center, which is the southern part of the property where the Orca Ballroom and Chinook rooms are located.

“With almost ten years of extremely high utilization the Conference Center space needed a refresh. Everything from technology to tile were starting to show their age, and as well maintained as they were, there is only so much life you can get of a facility before it needs to be updated,” explained TRC General Manager, Sam Askew. “The need gave us the opportunity to really make the space much more representative of the Tulalip Tribes in look and feel, while also addressing the needs of the guest. When completed next month, guests will have the same type of Tulalip experience both in rooms and in the Conference Center.”

Rising Sun Development, a general construction business owned by tribal member Harold Joseph III, was awarded the remodel contract. Harold takes great pride in hiring his fellow tribal members, especially recent high school graduates who are looking for career pathways. On this specific job there are plenty of familiar faces who have only called Tulalip Reservation home.

“I started my company so we could start hiring tribal members and give the younger generation an opportunity to work alongside professional tradesmen and to learn those on-the-job construction skills,” said Harold. “We’ve had about twelve to fifteen younger tribal members on the last couple jobs, seven of them are recent high school graduates. They are learning and doing drywall, tile and carpet installation, and steel-stud framing. They are coming to work every day putting in eight to ten hours, learning from guys who have made a successful career out of construction.”

Learning the importance of an honest day’s work is huge for any young person transitioning into adulthood. Especially so for the millennial generation who are most often associated with the term ‘entitlement’. But for these tribal members, recently minted as grownups, the opportunity given by Rising Sun Development and TRC Conference Center remodel allows them to fully comprehend what it means to get dirty, work hard, and earn their keep.

“Working for a tribal contractor, I feel we are offered more to learn and there are less barriers preventing us from succeeding,” added 19-year-old tribal member, Darion Joseph. “There’s a sense of pride, too, in knowing we are building something and leaving our mark on a business that means a lot to our people.”

Artist renderings of the rennovated Conference Center.

Once the remodel is completed, the Conference Center will have a stronger influence of Tulalip culture than the previous design. It seems only fitting that Tulalip tribal members (as contractors and their hard at work employees) are those doing leaving their mark behind the scenes while completing the Conference Center’s transformation.

“Sharing the culture of the Tulalip Tribes has always been an important part of the resort experience since its opening,” continued TRC General Manager, Sam Askew. “Door handles go from being a plain stainless steel bar to being a bronzed paddle. Now when I open the door to a Chinook Meeting room, I’m literally touching the culture. The flooring is likely to be most striking to visitors as we wanted to tell the story of life on, and within the waters of Tulalip Bay and The Salish Sea.

“Ultimately, having tribal members performing the work being done to bring about this great transformation only adds to the value of a design we created to best represent the Tulalip Tribes. Seeing young tribal members not only working but learning new skills and trades as well means that there is a bright future for Tulalip. In 7 or 8 years, when they walk through the TRC with their own families, they’ll be able to share not only what the elements of the spaces mean with their children, but that they are tied to it in very profound way because they helped make it a reality.”

Unexpected Pairings: Tulalip Resort Casino Chefs Trade the Usual Suspects for ‘Bubbles & Fries’

 Poutine Bar and Prosecco Take Center Stage This December

Tulalip, Washington — Bubbles and Fries will be all the craze at Tulalip Resort Casino starting November 30 through December 30, 2017. Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and Sommelier Tom Thompson have teamed up to share their two favorite food and drink combinations in a uniquely inspiring way.

Whether it’s the Build-Your-Own Poutine Bar at Eagles Buffet or the Twice-Baked Potato Fries at The Draft Sports Bar and Grill, guests are encouraged to partner these tempting French fry preparations with a glass of bubbly.

For Mascitti this month-long event is all about the salty fries, and for Thompson, it’s all about the elegant contrast of these sparkling wines paired with these savory treats.

“I want everyone to try it once by taking a fry, placing it in their mouths and following it with a sip of bubbly to experience this food revolution,” shares Executive Chef Perry Mascitti.

“I challenged the entire Tulalip chef team to strategize very special and creative ways of serving their wonderful fries to share with our dining guests,” states Sommelier Tom Thompson. “They took the potato throw down very, very seriously.”

In fact, it was somewhat of a potato war. The Tulalip chef team deconstructed them, sauced them, relished them, cut, and creatively cooked them…all in an effort to spark a newfound love affair worth their weight in gold.

Full menus and additional dining information are available at Cedars Cafe, Destinations Lounge, Journeys East, The Draft Sports Bar and Grill, Blackfish Wild Salmon Grill, and Eagles Buffet.

Shhh…a New Year’s teaser about what will be happening in January. It will be about spirited cuisine, which will start on January 2, 2018. Stay tuned!

The Curtain Closes on Tulalip Bay Restaurant, But Not Without a New Act

TulaBene Pastaria + Chophouse to Make Its Debut at Tulalip Resort Casino

Tulalip, Washington —- After many encores, the Tulalip Resort Casino culinary team realized that their beloved Tulalip Bay Restaurant is ready for a new act. Like a long running award-winning Broadway play, Tulalip Bay witnessed talented artistry, acclaimed culinary shows, and memorable waitstaff star performances during it’s 13-year run. As the culinary curtains for Tulalip Bay Restaurant comes to its final close on Saturday, October 28, 2017, a new and exciting production is being rehearsed by way of TulaBene Pastaria + Chophouse, which is slated to open in spring of 2018.

TulaBene Pastaria + Chop House will take diners on an unexpected culinary experience where ethereal steaks and curated Italian-inspired dishes come together from the hands and soul of Tulalip Resort Casino’s Chef Jeremy Taisey. A new bar will be added to the restaurant featuring a varied selection of handcrafted cocktails and an extensive wine list.

“TulaBene will be an inviting dining spot that will encourage guests to ‘come-as-you-are’ and to order family style meals, creating memorable dinners with friends and family. We plan on working closely with local farmers with an attention to create our own house-made products, and each guest will be the director of their experience,” Chef Taisey shares.

For more information about Tulalip Resort Casino’s extensive dining options, visit

Tulalip Resort and Casino: Renovated to Modern Luxury


By Kalvin Valdillez, Tulalip News 

In January of 2016, the Tulalip Resort and Casino (TRC) began renovations to the guest rooms of the luxurious twelve-story resort.

“We wanted to build upon [the rooms] that were designed nine years ago and elevate it to the next level,” states the Resort General Manager, Sam Askew.

The year-long project results are spectacular. Each room was designed to stay true to Tulalip’s luxurious Four Diamond brand, adding modern features such as LED bedside reading lamps, 55” smart TV’s, refrigerators, and a fog-free Bluetooth smart mirror to each guest room.




Perhaps the most incredible update Askew’s team commissioned is the carpeting throughout the resort. As soon as a guest reaches their floor, they are met with beautiful carpeting with vibrant colors and graphics throughout the corridors. Durkan, the company who designed the carpeting, used new technology to create the first-of-its-kind product exclusively for Tulalip. The corridors of each floor differ from one another and incorporate Native American artwork. On the twelfth floor, orcas and salmon appear to be swimming along the sides of the hallway.

Another major update TRC has made is the conversion of a Specialty Suite. Specialty Suites are uniquely themed, such as the Player’s Suite, offering a bachelor-esque vibe with a pool table and sports memorabilia. Other specialty suites offered are the Tulalip Suite and the Grand Asian Suite. The newly renovated Cascade Suite, previously the Tech Suite, is inspired by the Cascade Mountain Range and is easily the new fan favorite.

Askew states, “The one type of room we were really missing was a room that is representative of the Northwest. So we made a room that is mid-century craftsman style with a raised bathroom, a great beautiful soaking tub, and a waterfall in the shower to go along with the Cascade theme.”


Furnishings from the previous rooms were donated to the Tulalip Tribes and were dispersed to the community.  However, the furnishings from the Tech Suite were donated to the Tulalip Boys and Girls Club, including a variety of video game systems and games.

The resort highlights tribal artwork beautifully, intertwining extravagance with Native American culture, which Tulalip is famous for. Canvas oil paintings, with traditional tribal designs, hang on each wall of every guest room. Upon entry guests are immediately welcomed with information about Tulalip’s history, a cedar rose, and information about the Hibulb Cultural Center.

“We want our guests to walk into a new room and feel a sense of belonging and experience the Tulalip culture, the raised hands welcome,” says Askew.

Tours of the rooms are available to guests and are encouraged during the weekdays. For more information about the new guest rooms visit





Shake Your Groove Thing While Learning a New Dance at Canoes Cabaret

Afraid to hit the dance floor with those two left feet? Here’s a chance to have a great time, right those feet, and learn classic dances that will have even the stars envious! Instruction ranges from Latin and Ballroom to Disco and County Line Dancing. Beginning at 8 p.m. on Wednesday, October 5th (and the first Wednesday of the month thereafter), dancers and dancer-wannabes can take a group lesson from local instructors. Due to popularity, the classes offer first-come first-served seating, so arrive early to order a cocktail, sip the drink specials, and savor bites from Canoes Carvery.

Renowned DJ Chrissy Williams, dance instructor DeAnna Lee from KMPS FM, and the Boot Scoot Babes will kick things off with Country Line Dancing instruction on October 5th.

“Dance has been a very important part of every culture over time,” said Lisa Severn, Food and Beverage Director. “Dancing is a great way to get family, friends, and strangers together for a night of stress-free fun.”

Doors open at 7 p.m. with Happy Hour offerings from 7-9 p.m. October 5th bar specials include $3 Bud Bottles or a bucket of 4 for $10, and $5 Well Margaritas. Dance lessons and open floor dancing will take place until midnight. Guests 21 and over are invited to attend (sorry, no minors). Prices will vary. Visit for more information.

Dance Wednesday Lineup:

November 2 – Swing Dancing with Daniel Newsome
December 7 – Ballroom (Waltz, Foxtrot) with Olga Foraponova

January 4 – Salsa with Reinier Valdes 
February 1 – Tango with Gabriela Condrea 
March 1 – Cha Cha with Reinier Valdes
April 5 – Country Line Dancing with DeAnna Lee
May 3 – Disco with Chrissy Williams
June 7 – Ballroom (Waltz, Foxtrot) with Olga Foraponova
July 5 – Samba with Reinier Valdes
August 2 – Jazz with Daniel Newsome

About Tulalip Resort Casino
Award winning Tulalip Resort Casino is the most distinctive gaming, dining, meeting, entertainment and shopping destination in Washington state. The AAA Four Diamond resort’s world class amenities have ensured its place on the Condé Nast Traveler Gold and Traveler Top 100 Resorts lists. The property includes 192,000 square feet of gaming excitement; a luxury hotel featuring 370 guest rooms and suites; 30,000 square feet of premier meeting, convention and wedding space; the full-service T Spa; and 7 dining venues, including the AAA Four Diamond Tulalip Bay Restaurant. It also showcases the intimate Canoes Cabaret; a 3,000-seat amphitheater. Nearby, find the Hibulb Cultural Center and Natural History Preserve, Cabela’s; and Seattle Premium Outlets, featuring more than 122 name brand retail discount shops. The Resort Casino is conveniently located between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. just off Interstate-5 at exit 200. It is an enterprise of the Tulalip Tribes. For reservations please call (866) 716-7162.

Father’s Day Brunch at the Orca Ballroom, June 19

Treat Dad like a King this June … serve him breakfast in bed or set up a lawn chair in a shady spot in the backyard where he can enjoy his favorite steak on the grill.

Or better yet, let us do the work for you! Take Dad to the Tulalip Resort Casino’s Orca Ballroom for the best Father’s Day Brunch in town!

Our chefs have put together all of Dad’s favorites like Prime Rib, Barbequed Chicken, Pork Ribs, Spud Bar, desserts and much more…
We’re showing Dad’s favorite sports on our large screens and added fun things to do with Dad like a 9-hole mini golf course, QB Blitz, Skee Ball, Shooting Stars and a coloring wall and the always enjoyable Face Painters!


Fathers Day Brunch

Tulalip Resort Casino Appoints Jeremy Taisey as Chef/GM of their AAA Four Diamond Tulalip Bay Restaurant

Source: Allan Aquila & Associates, LLC

Jeremy Taisey resort casino

Tulalip, Washington — Tulalip Resort Casino is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeremy Taisey as the new Chef/GM of their Four Diamond Tulalip Bay Restaurant — bringing new vision and experience to the operation. Prior to joining the Resort’s culinary team, Jeremy Taisey was cooking up cutting-edge fare at the Woodmark Hotel Kirkland, Las Vegas’ Bellagio Hotel, The Regent Hotel Beijing, along with the Pine Valley Resort in Beijing and other local area hotels.

“We are excited to bring Jeremy Taisey on-board,” states Executive Chef Perry Mascitti. “He possesses an incredible mixture of knowledge, creativity, and foresight that he will bring to the operation. Our guests are going to enjoy what he creates for them.”

Native to the Seattle area, Jeremy Taisey has always been fascinated by the happenings in the kitchen. It was during an Easter brunch at a local hotel that he decided to become a chef. The next day, Jeremy Taisey enrolled himself in the Edmonds Community College Culinary Arts program, which allowed him to fulfill his dream.

In 2006, Jeremy Taisey decided to pack his belongings and venture to Beijing, China, to marry his fiancé of three years. It was during his time in China that Jeremy Taisey’s career really took off. During his nomadic culinary journey, he cooked for many famous individuals, such as the Governor of Beijing, Israel’s Prime Minister, the Princess of Thailand, and actors Jackie Chan, Jet Li, and Christopher Lloyd.

Jeremy Taisey returned to his hometown in 2012, bringing with him a blend of unique experiences and an unparalleled skill set. His goals for the Tulalip Bay menu are to create seasonal dishes featuring modern interpretations of Italian meals, using local ingredients with a focus on top-rated prime steaks.

When Jeremy Taisey isn’t cooking up a storm in the kitchen, he can be found spending quality time with his wife and enjoying great food.

New Look in the New Year for Tulalip’s hotel

A glimpse at one of the renovated rooms at Tulalip Resort Casino hotel. Photo/Micheal Rios
A glimpse at one of the renovated rooms at Tulalip Resort Casino hotel.
Photo/Micheal Rios



By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News 

A new year brings hope. A new year triggers a desire to change an aspect of your life. An optimistic spirit of “new year, new me” motivates many to make a New Year’s resolution. Even the casual social media user had their timeline plastered with New Year’s resolution aims, goals, lyrics, or memes. Most people declared to do more or less of something in their day-to-day lives, such as eating healthier, exercising on a regular basis, losing weight, quitting a bad habit, or learning how to better manage money.

Well, as a brand and as a resort destination, the Tulalip Resort Casino has made a New Year’s resolution of its own: to return as the standard bearer for luxury accommodations that balance artistry, stylish elegance, and an abundance of comfort.

When the Tulalip Resort Casino (TRC) opened in May 2008 there was no question who had the most luxurious accommodations in the area, it was Tulalip. Fast-forward nearly eight years to the present and the TRC no longer stands head and shoulders above the rest. Over the past eight years, many tribes in the state have followed Tulalip’s lead and built their own resort casinos. Those with standalone casinos have added a hotel, those with a subpar hotel have upped their game by remodeling, and then there are the tribes who decided to enter the gaming world and invest in newly constructed resort casinos. All this is to say Tulalip now has competition where once there wasn’t any.

“Since we’ve opened our tower and been operating the Tulalip Resort Casino, we’ve seen Swinomish open their property, Silver Reef has opened their second tower, Angels has opened their new property, and Clear Water has added a tower,” explains Sam Askew, General Manager of Tulalip’s “four-diamond rated” hotel. “The competition, in terms of gaming within the state, have all upped their game because they want to emulate what Tulalip has done and continues to do.”




Over the past eight years, the accommodations industry has seen trends change and upgrades in technology, furnishings, and in-room amenities that are now in demand by today’s guests. Frequent guests of resort casinos can notice the difference in room quality from an out of date accommodation, as do tribal members who have stayed at other newly minted hotels in the region. Because of this, the Tulalip Board of Directors and TRC executive staff deemed it time to renovate the hotel guest rooms and bring back the WOW-factor that Tulalip is known for.

Of the two new room designs to be implemented in the renovation, it’s the Tulalip design that will be most prevalent. The Tulalip room design is self-evident; everything from the predominantly red and black color scheme, styling, design elements, artwork and even the carpet graphics have you feel like you are at Tulalip. Everything in this room is designed and geared for Tulalip culture and history, whether it’s a weaving token, fishing reference, or a stunning piece of artwork created by Tulalip artists James Madison and Joe Gobin.




Bringing back the WOW-factor to the guest rooms will include introducing many new enhancements to each room.

“One of the interesting things, too, is that most of the guest enhancements in the new rooms come from a culmination of guest requests and suggestions, recommendations from our facility and maintenance teams, and our continued mission to provide the best service we can,” says GM Sam Askew. “Guest enhancements include an improved heating and cooling system, in-room refrigerator, lowered countertops, vessel sinks, improved ventilation in the bathroom, new electrical outlets with USB ports to charge your electronic devices, faster in-room WiFi, and all TVs will be smart TVs with over 100 channels provided by Tulalip Broadband. There will also be smart media hubs in each room so that you can hook up a gaming system, tablet or even PC to the TV. We’ve also got state of the art Bluetooth enabled smart mirrors in the bathroom, so you can listen to your favorite music while enjoying Tulalip’s famous shower.”




So from a whole new design with new and upgraded technology, furnishings, and amenities that will make guests have no doubt they are staying in Tulalip, to a whole list of guest enhancements that will continue to grow as renovation is underway and new ideas are introduced, Tulalip will be getting its WOW back.

“For us, I think the big takeaway will be the rooms clearly identified as Tulalip. There will be no ifs, ands, or buts about it, when you see the room you’ll know it’s a Tulalip room. I’m proud of that,” continues GM Sam Askew. “In our industry most people go with safe and comfortable, but here we’re able to go with WOW and a sense of heritage and belonging. For me, that part is the best. It demonstrates the culture of service we are known for at Tulalip and it also demonstrates the Tribes long-term commitment and vision.”

TRC guest room renovation is currently underway and estimated completion is March 31, 2017. Be sure to follow Tulalip News on Facebook  for updates as the renovation is ongoing.




7th Annual Taste of Tulalip: Celebrating food, wine and tradition

photo/Maria Capili Photography


By Micheal Rios, Tulalip News; photos courtesy Maria Capili Photography

The Tulalip Resort and Casino (TRC) routinely displays all the reasons why it has earned the coveted AAA Four Diamond Award every year since 2009. Day and night the TRC staff are hard at work, dedicated to providing excellent customer service. As a Four Diamond Award winner, the TRC consistently delivers a luxurious experience, complete with a high level of service, amenities, and impressive surroundings. But, there is one event, held one weekend of the year where the TRC transforms itself from much, much more than the casino we often think of it as. In fact, this event has little to do with slot machines or table games at all.

The event is the annual Taste of Tulalip, Washington State’s coveted culinary festival of the year. More of a food and wine experience than an event, the two-day Taste of Tulalip showcases gourmet food and an assortment of fine wine hand-selected by Tulalip’s top-notch culinary team, led by Executive Chef Perry Mascitti and award-winning Sommelier Tommy Thompson. This year, the Taste of Tulalip celebrated its seventh anniversary over the weekend of November 13.

On Friday evening, Four-hundred and fifty guests filled the Orca Ballroom for the Taste of Tulalip’s 7th Annual Celebration Dinner. The theme of this year’s dinner was “La Famiglia”, which is Italian for “the family”. In sticking with the theme, the Orca Ballroom was completely decked out in Italian backdrops, tapestry, fountains, and even live performance art. If the visuals weren’t enough to have you thinking you were in little Italy, then the live musicians, from an opera singer to a mandolin player, definitely did the trick.

The evening’s inspiration came from the love of Italian grandmothers everywhere who have a special passion for cooking amazing food every day for their families. In tribute, Tulalip chefs recreated many of their beloved recipes, paired with a global offering of rare, top wines.

Tulalip traditions were also highlighted throughout the evening. Tulalip artists continue to use traditional tools and techniques, while also using computer graphics, power tools, laser cuts and more to bring both traditional and innovative forms of Coast Salish art to the 21st century. That’s why Tulalip artist Mike Gobin was chosen to design this year’s Taste of Tulalip logo. The logo he created was etched and printed onto wine glasses, dinner plates, and various marketing materials.

“The Taste of Tulalip logo was inspired by my father, Thomas J. Gobin, and my twin sister, Marilyn R. Lewis (Gobin),” says Mike of his unique, Coast Salish design. “The salmon represents the people of the Tulalip Tribes, “People of the Salmon’. My father’s Indian name means, ‘Man soars with Eagles’, and my sister’s Indian name means, ‘Aunty to all’. So the eagle represents my father and the hummingbird represents my sister. The eagle is hugging the hummingbird, so, with my father and sister gone now, this design represents my father meeting my sister in heaven and giving her a big hug. I’ve entitled this design, “A Father’s Heavenly Embrace”. I miss both of them a great deal.”


photo/Maria Capili Photography


Within the Tulalip community, giving has often been an expectation of individuals as a means of sharing and survival. As Tulalip has grown economically and prospered from several business ventures, the tribes’ charitable donation program has continued to grow in kind and gives to nonprofits around the region. On this night, Snohomish-based veteran’s organization Heartbeat – Serving Wounded Warriors received two checks for $10,000 each. Heartbeat provides emergency assistance, therapeutic services, support groups, and morale-building programs for wounded service members and their families in Washington State.

photo/Maria Capili Photography

 “It’s critical that we serve those who gave up so much for our freedoms,” Tulalip Chairman Mel Sheldon said. “I was a Vietnam veteran, and if programs like this had been around back then, it would have changed everything. This is truly healing medicine.”

Friday evening’s celebration dinner was followed up with Saturday’s gourmet food and wine extravaganza, as more than 2,000 guests came from all over the region to attend wine seminars, cooking demonstrations and, of course, the Grand Taste. Attendees savored flavors of exceptional food and wine pairings from around the globe as they sauntered about lavish food stations by TRC award-winning chefs, countless winery samples from Washington, Oregon and California, craft beer selections, and even two separate lounges featuring their own hand-picked pours.

The only way to adequately describe the Grant Taste is to share photos, which as they say, are worth a thousand words. And if your mouth doesn’t water, then you’re not looking hard enough. The food was utterly fantastic, as every dish was prepared to wow the taste buds. Add in the wine selection, which encompasses the entire spectrum from once in a lifetime to perfect for a normal Tuesday, and we have a creative and fun atmosphere, free of snobbery and pretentiousness.

The two-day Taste of Tulalip is the annual opportunity for the Tulalip Resort Casino to drop the casino part and flex its culinary muscles as the Tulalip Resort, proving itself as a true destination in the Pacific Northwest’s food and dining scene. Both Friday and Saturday’s events sell-out every year, so be on the lookout for information regarding next year’s Taste of Tulalip at