Two officials with the Spokane Tribe of Indians Thursday predicted their proposed West Plains casino-hotel could be ready for business sometime in 2013.
Tribe Chairman Greg Abrahamson and Vice Chair Mike Spencer told a West Plains Chamber of Commerce group they hoped the doors would open in “2 to 2 ½ years.”
But they also noted it’s not a done deal. The tribe first has to obtain federal approval and then get the OK from Washington state.
Tribal leaders have submitted a request to the Department of Interior to build a casino and resort on 145 acres of trust land the tribe acquired near Airway Heights in 1998.
The Kalispel Tribe, which operates the nearby Northern Quest casino, has said it opposes allowing the Spokanes to build a casino on non-reservation land. The Kalispels were able to build their casino-resort on land it bought and then later was designated tribal reservation land by the federal government.
Abrahamson said the proposed project, called STEP, for Spokane Tribe Economic Project, would generate 1,200 jobs when completed. Only one-fourth of those jobs would go to tribal workers, he noted.
He also said the first phase of the job would be completing the casino. The remaining components of the multiuse project would be phased in over a few years.
On the map, the proposed site sits north and west of Craig Road along Highway 2, on land adjacent to Airway Heights.