Nation | Tribe: Cowlitz Indian Tribe
1 Cowlitz Way
Ridgefield, WA 98642
"ilani" means "to sing" in the Cowlitz language. The casino is one of seven managed and finanaced by Mohawk Gaming and Entertainment, headquartered in Connecticut.
Artist rendering of the ilani casino and hotel in 2023.
The ilani Casino Resort is an Indian gaming casino owned by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. The casino opened on April 24, 2017 after many years of legal battles with opposition groups. There is currently a 300-room, 14-story hotel under construction next to the casino that is scheduled to open in 2023. See hotel renderings
The ilani Casino is located off Interstate 5 Exit 16, near La Center about 20 miles north of Vancouver, Washington.
&In February 2016 the Cowlitz Tribe broke ground for their new $510 million casino. Construction was completed in early 2017 and the grand opening was celebrated April 24, 2017.
The Cowlitz Tribe was a landless tribe awaiting approval from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to take 152 acres of land into federal trust. The land is located at La Center's I-5 interchange in Clark County, Washington.
Federal approval was finally granted December 23, 2010 making the land a sovereign reservation for the Cowlitz tribal government, housing, and economic opportunities. This included the tribe's plan to construct a resort casino as described below. Federal support for this project was reconfirmed Oct. 5, 2012.
The first phase of construction on this $510 million project was the two-story casino which was completed and opened in April 2017. The second phase is a 300-room, 14-story hotel scheduled to open in 2023. The groundbreaking for the hotel was on the four year anniversary of the casino opening.
Open 24 hours daily
100,000 square-foot gaming space
Minimum gambling age 21 years or older
Penny slots to five dollar machines
75 gaming tables
Includes Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Roulette, Craps, Texas Hold'em
Smoke-free Gaming Area
32,000 square feet
1,159 slot machines
12 table games
FUTURE EXPANSION PLAN
Open 24 hours daily
75,000 square-foot additional casino floor
368,000 total square-foot facility
Minimum gambling age 21 years or older
3,000 slot machines
135 gaming tables
20 poker tables
Line & Lure Restaurant
Michael Jordan's Steak House
Rose & Thorn
Muze - stage entertainers
This $20 million balllroom opened in April 2018. It offers 22,000 square feet to accomodate 2,500 guests as a concert venue or 800 guests as a banquet hall. The ballroom is the largest in Clark County.
FUTURE HOTEL - opening in 2023
Four-diamond hotel with 300 guest rooms and suites. See hotel renderings
Second Phase Construction - 147,500 square feet
260,000 square feet for shopping
Cowlitz Trading Post
2,600 vehicle spaces
This will be a 6-story structure built next to the casino with a covered walkway connecting to the main entrance of the casino.
Construction will start in July 2019 and be completed in late summer 2020.
Fuel And Convenience Store
31801 NW 31st Ave, Ridgefield, WA 98642
The fuel station dispenses gasoline and diesel for cars and trucks and ethanol-free gas for boats.
The convenience store sells the typical traveler amenities plus local ice cream, locally-roasted coffee, nitro-brewed coffee and the ilani-brand wine.
April 28, 2022
ilani Casino Resort is celebrating its fifth anniversary throughout the month of April with prizes, giveaways, and the topping off of its new hotel, which broke ground last year during the fourth anniversary. Topping off is a traditional event in construction when the last beam is hoisted into place atop the steel structure.
The ilani hotel is designed to have a four-diamond rating with 300 guest rooms, an indoor/outdoor pool, cabanas, a spa and salon, fitness center, and a top-floor restaurant. It will open next year for the sixth anniversary of the ilani Casino Resort.
As part of the anniversary celebration, the casino is hosting $165,000 Anniversary Cash Parties every Saturday and Sunday through May 1, and a $5 Anniversary Chip Giveaway every Saturday.
April 29, 2021
The Cowlitz Indian Tribe held a groundbreaking ceremony at the ilani Casino last Friday for the construction on 14-story, 300-room hotel. The blue glass exterior will honor the blue waters of the surrounding rivers.
The ilani hotel will open in 2023 and feature an indoor/outdoor pool separated by a retractable wall, cabanas, wet lounges, poolside cafe, a spa and salon, fitness center, and a top-floor restaurant overlooking the Columbia River.
The ilani hotel plans to seek a Four Diamond rating from AAA.
ILANI HOTEL RENDERINGS (2023)
October 5, 2020
Six tibal casinos in Washington State were named winners in this year's Best of Gaming Awards in the Native American Northwest. First place awards went to Ilani Casino for Best Casino, The Point Casino & Hotel for Best Hotel, and The Skagit Casino Resort for Best Overall Gaming Resort.
This is the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Best of Gaming Awards, which are presented to the top U.S. casinos and hotels by Casino Player Magazine.
2020 BEST OF GAMING AWARDS
Native American Northwest
BEST OVERALL GAMING RESORT
1. Ilani Casino
For the complete list of categories and winners in the 2020 Best of Gaming Awards, visit Casino Player Magazine.
May 28, 2020
After shutting down operations on March 16 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, ilani has reopened today at 10 AM. Enhanced safety protocols include temperature checks at entry, reduced restaurant tables for distancing, fewer gaming machines. and Plexiglas barriers at gaming tables and customer service.
A posting on the ilani website states:
"To commemorate the reopening of ilani, leaders of ilani and the Cowlitz Tribe will gather outside for a blessing ceremony led by Tanna Engdahl, tribal spiritual leader at 10:00am on Thursday, May 28th and the public is invited to join. To maintain the health and safety of all ilani staff and guests, new protocols will be in place, adhering to guidelines established by the Centers of Disease Control and Washington health authorities."
February 14, 2020
Construction of ilani's new, six-story parking structure is proceeding on time and has reached its halfway mark. When finished in late summer or early fall, this state-of-the-art parking garage will provide 2,600 parking spaces and capacity to add another 4,000 spaces in the future. A covered walkway will connect to the northwest entrance to the casino.
After construction of the parking garage is completed, the next project will be a 300-room hotel.
Cowlitz Tribe Chairman Bill Iyall wrote in the latest Cowlitz Tribal Newsletter, "After completing the parking garage in the fall of 2020, we plan to move to the groundbreaking for the ilani Hotel - a 4-star hotel with 300 rooms, conference facilities, and with additional restaurants."
No further information or timeline regarding the hotel has been released by the tribe.
April 24, 2019
ilani Casino celebrated its two-year anniversary on Wednesday. Its opening day was April 24, 2017.
In celebration of the event casino offered special promotions and memorabilia gifts to its guests. Leaders of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe also made two announcements about ongoing changes:
Cowlitz Crossing Grand Opening
The Cowlitz Crossing opened today on the anniversary date of the casinos. It is a fueling station and convenience store located nearby at 31801 NW 31st Ave, Ridgefield, WA 98642.
The fuel station sells gasoline, ethanol-free gas and diesel. The convenience store stocks standard items you would expect to find plus local ice cream, coffee and ilani wine.
New Parking Garage
Construction will begin this July on a 5-story parking stucture with 2,600 vehicle parking spaces. It will be completed in late summer of next year.
ilani Casino Resort continues in a master planning phase. Future expansion project may include a hotel, a Cowlitz Indian Cultural Center and a new tribal headquarters.
The most recent addition was the Cowlitz Ballroom which opened in April last year. It is a 22,000-square-foot addition that provides a 2,500-person concert venue or an 800-guest banquet hall. The balllroom cost $20 million and is the largest in Clark County.
September 05, 2018
Groundbreaking was held for the new gas station and convenience store that will be located near the ilani Casino Resort. On Thursday the ceremony was held. The casino resort is operated by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe near La Center, Washington.
During the ceremony members of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe and casino resort leadership were present.
There will be between 18 and 24 gas pumps. 22 parking spaces. The convenience store will be two floors with an atrium.
The store will offer drinks, tobacco, and some grocery items. Customers will also be able to purchase hot food. The store is planning on offering sandwiches and friend chicken.
The new gas station and convenience store is scheduled to be completed by the end of Spring next year.
February 14, 2018
In April the ilani Casino Resort is scheduled to open the new meeting and entertainment center. This is also the time the casino will be celebrating the one year anniversary.
The announcement about the opening was made on February 5.
The newly expanded area consists of 30,000 square feet. The Cowlitz Ballroom is 22,000 square feet. It can be made into different size rooms to accommodate different sized events. For concerts the ballroom can seat 2,500 people. It can also be used for banquets. In that configuration, the room can accommodate 800 guests. Smaller events can also be held there. The room can be divided.
The location in the building allows for guests to enter the room directly without needing to walk into the casino area.
Events held there will have access to full catering services, sound, and lighting.
Attracting more entertainment was one of the reasons behind the expansion project. The tribe is interested in providing guests with performers that are nationally known.
Along with the new entertainment center opening, the amount of traffic it will bring is a concern. To offset the issues, the road will be improved. An additional 400 parking spaces will also be added.
They expect traffic to be heaviest during the grand opening of the center. Then Thursday to Monday.
The ilani Casino Resort has been in operation for close to a year. The casino has plans to continue growing and expanding in the future.
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