The celebratory event began with a traditional blessing ceremony followed by remarks from Muckleshoot Tribal Council Chairwoman Virginia Cross. Then, Muckleshoot Tribal Council members concluded the event by digging their shovels into the dirt for the first time, marking the official start of expansion. Now, the work begins to continue Muckleshoot Casino’s mission of being the biggest and best in the Northwest.
In the next year, a 20,000-square-foot events and conference center and 10,000 additional square feet of gaming space will be added onto the casino. A cultural center detailing the history and journey of the Muckleshoot Tribe will also make its debut as well as a new fast-casual dining destination.
“It’s another reason for people to come here,” states Muckleshoot Casino General Manager Conrad Granito. “It will provide a whole new way for people to experience the casino, from large-scale concerts to technologically advanced conference space. It will be a new reason to stay and play in the South Sound.”
This April, Muckleshoot Casino will mark its 24th anniversary. And, it all began with a leap of faith.
“I remember when my oldest brother came to us and said, ‘why are you guys going to build a casino? Nobody is going to come,’” recalled Council Chair Virginia Cross. “’Nobody will come to the Muckleshoot Reservation in Auburn, Washington to gamble.’ We said, ‘well, we’ll try.’ So, we opened with the tent and my brother was the guy at the door who was counting the numbers of people who came in and there was a line behind us. Everyone was trying to get into the casino; at the time, a small tent. He came back and said, ‘oh, I guess you guys were right.’”
“We have come a long way,” said Cross. “We really appreciate all the help that our customers have brought us, that our staff has done, and Muckleshoot Tribal members who have hung in there for 24 years, too. By keeping our casino business strong, this expansion will also help us to meet our responsibility to our community members. Every dollar from the casino operations goes towards building a better and stronger future for all Muckleshoot people and our neighbors.”
Casino revenue supports a variety of vital projects within the Muckleshoot Tribe including programs like elder services, education, health care, housing assistance, employment opportunities, and more.
“To see the Muckleshoot Tribe expand this operation and take it to the next level is extremely gratifying for me, personally, because I know where the money goes,” states Muckleshoot Casino General Manager Conrad Granito. “The reality of Tribal gaming is to support the Tribe. The Tribe has also given back to many charities not only here in Auburn, but throughout the state.”
Stay tuned to our blog for more updates and news on the Muckleshoot Casino expansion project.