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Posts tagged: Airway Heights

If STEP moves forward, let’s hope the tribe chooses a stunning design

We can't go two days without another mention of the proposed STEP project, which would begin with a proposed Spokane Tribe casino and resort. It would be built on 45 acres inside the City of Airway Heights.

The controversy over whether this is needed or a bad idea has only gotten more heated over time. At this point, the two sides are awaiting the next key decision, a ruling by the Department of the Interior on whether the Spokanes get the green light. If Interior says yes, then would come a decision by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Still, though it's premature we wonder what would a new casino-resort eventually look like?

We know from documents already filed that the tribe has signed a tentative deal to work with Warner Gaming, a large company that helps tribes set up gaming operations.

Warner has posted the Spokane Tribe's provided architectural rendering that shows a generic design. OK, it's actually not bad but not that great visually. (Top Photo)

We hope the Tribe, if it gets to the point of moving forward, will choose a design for a new casino that's both smart and visually unique. We found an example of unique casino design in the incredibly stylish Mohegan Sun resort and casino in Uncasville, Conn. (photo below)

This casino includes a 34-story tower that architectural firm Kohn Pedersen Fox styled after an arrowhead.

It's not cheap and this style of building has no place on the West Plains. But we think it's stunning visually and should help inspire efforts to find a suitable and special design for the STEP project, if it moves forward.

Photo of the Mohegan Sun courtesy of

Hearing on Spokane Tribe’s casino proposal is certain to generate a lot of heat

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In case you didn't know, tonight is the public hearing hosted by the Bureau of Indian Affairs regarding the Spokane Tribe's impact statement for a proposed casino and resort on the edge of Airway Heights.

The hearing starts at Sunset Elementary School in Airway Heights. The map shows the location. It starts at 6 p.m.

If you go expect plenty of back and forth on how and why this is either a good jobs-producing proposal or a dangerous precedent and a likely encroachment on Fairchild Air Force Base. Officially and completely honestly, OfficeHours is taking no sides on this issue. We wish both sides stick the facts and avoid overblown rhetoric.

For a summary of the proposal and the EIS, it's at this link.

Rockwood Clinic to open Airway Heights center, plus expand at NorthPointe Plaza

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Worth blogging here is the John Stucke story from today on expansion plans by Rockwood Clinic, of Spokane:

The fast-growing clinic will open a family health care center, with three providers – including at least one physician – in a new location in Airway Heights.

Jill Fix, a Rockwood spokeswoman, said the new clinic will have a staff of nine.
The opening date is tentatively set for April 1. It will include radiology and a laboratory.
The clinic will be at 10414 W. Highway 2 – within the Crosspointe Center – and occupy about 3,870 square feet. The clinic is being designed by Chris Herath and built by Vandervert Construction, LLC.
At the same time Rockwood is opening a new Rockwood North Specialty Center.  It will include six family practitioners, four pediatricians, a podiatrist and two ophthalmologists when it is fully staffed – perhaps by late June.
The new clinic will occupy 10,000 square feet and include a lab and radiology services. The clinic’s existing physical therapy practice will expand to add two more therapists, with plans to bolster industrial rehabilitation and add hand therapy services.
Vandervert is in charge of construction and Bernardo-Willis did the design work.

Spokane Tribe leaders predict it could open West Plains casino in 2013

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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.

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The Spokesman-Review business team follows economic development in Spokane and the Inland Northwest.

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Alison Boggs (@alisonboggs) Online Producer Alison Boggs posts and manages content on and its social networking accounts.

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Scott Maben Scott Maben is a Deputy City Editor who covers North Idaho news and higher education.

Addy Hatch is the city editor, and formerly was business editor.

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