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Office Hours

Posts tagged: Kalispel Tribe

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.

Economic impact of US Boxing women’s team trials to be around $750,000

The people who track such things estimate next week's U.S. Olympics women's boxing team trials, to be held at the Northern Quest in Airway Heights, will add about $750,000 to the local economy.

Nearly all of that will be from money spent on food, lodging and other services by people coming to the area. A story in the SR today gives a full rundown.

For a quick summary of the event and a chance to learn about the 24 athletes who will compete, check out this link from USA Boxing: usaboxing.org/events/9250

Indian gaming revenue in 2010 came in the same as the year before

It's worth noting that data recently gathered by the National Indian Gaming Commission says Indian gaming revenue figures for 2010 remained unchanged from the year before.

The federal commision noted Indian gaming generated gross revenues of $26.5 billion during 2010. That's the same as the year before. Its summary report can be found here.
 
Some other key points worth considering:
  • The NIGC looks at seven regions for gaming by tribes. Of those, the largest growth in '09 and '10 occurred in the Oklahoma Region and the Portland Region. The Northwest (Portland) region includes 50 gaming operations across Washington, Idaho and Oregon. In this area the major tribes with gaming are the Kalispels (Northern Quest), The Spokanes (two casinos) and the Coeur d'Alene (Coeur d'Alene Casino and Resort).  
  • The gains for the Portland region were 6 percent in 2009 and 5 percent in 2010. The Oklahoma-Texas region also reported a 5 percent gain in 2010; no other region had a higher gain in that year.
  • In 2010, 55 percent of Indian gaming operations reported gaming revenue less than $25 million. Of tribes making money in 2010, roughly 62 percent had gaming revenue less than $10 million.
  • For 2010, 49 percent of Indian gaming operations reported an an increase in gaming revenues. Of these operations, approximately 10 percent showed more than a 50 percent gain over 2009. 
  • Approximately 51 percent of gaming operators reported a gaming revenue decrease from their 2009 gaming revenues; however, three quarters of these operations experienced decreases of less than 10 percent.
The report looks at financial statements submitted by 236 gaming tribes. “In this challenging economic climate, tribal gaming remains a stable and reliable tribal economic enterprise that generates jobs and revenues for the betterment of Indian communities,” stated NIGC Chairwoman Tracie Stevens.
 
The table here shows the 2009 and 2010 revenue figures for the seven regions monitored by NIGC.

Group against Spokane Tribe casino project launches website

A month ago we wrote about efforts by some West Plains business owners and others in opposition to a proposed Spokane Indian casino and resort.

The group, Citizens Against Casino Expansion, have launched a website to focus their concerns about the project, which they say has potential negative effects on Airway Heights and Fairchild Air Force Base.

Irv Zakheim, owner of Zak Designs, is heading the group. Among concerns, the group says the area already has a casino, the Northern Quest Resort and Casino, in Airway Heights. It was opened by the Kalispel Tribe.

The Spokane Tribe's project would be on land a few miles away. The Airway Heights City Council have started the process of annexing the 145 acres owned by the Spokane Tribe.

The opposition site is www.citizensagainstcasinos.com.

“This project is bad for the West Plains, bad for the future of Fairchild Air Force Base and could lead to more off-reservation gaming in our state. Our group plans to fight it aggressively and we’re inviting citizens to get involved. The community has a voice in this process and we can tell the BIA we don’t want it,” Zakheim wrote in a press release.

The Spokane Tribe says the project would provide significant numbers of new jobs and would provide economic stimulus both for Airway Heights and for tribal members. It's also had officials review the project and have been told the development poses no direct problems for the air base.

Before the casino can move forward the Spokanes first need federal approval, followed by approval by the governor's office.

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

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