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Colvilles building temporary casino

Manson facility expected to employ 50 more workers

MANSON — Mill Bay Casino will build a bigger, temporary $7.4 million casino with room for 500 slot machines, up from the 380 now available for gamblers.

The building will house the casino for up to several years while the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation looks for a permanent location.

Workers began clearing ground last week for a 36,000-square-foot structure known as a “sprung” building, a semi-permanent steel structure with panels that can be quickly built and later relocated. The existing building is 20,000 square feet.

The casino expects to employ nearly 50 more workers, or about 200 people, said Colville Tribal Enterprise Corp. gaming director Randy Williams. It expects to generate about $20 million in revenue in its first year of operations, according to a news release.

It will also have 12 table games, a full restaurant, a night club and a sports bar.

“This’ll be much nicer than the current facility. It’s an exciting little venture for us,” said Michelle Campobasso spokeswoman for the Colville Tribal Enterprise Corp., which is owned and operated by the Colville Tribes.

There will be a new family entrance to the restaurant separate from the casino area.

Located right next to the existing casino on land owned by tribal members, the new building is expected to be finished in December, Campobasso said.

CTEC gaming has other plans for the land where the casino sits now, but isn’t ready to discuss those plans at this time.

The property is part of the 145-acre Moses Allotment 8, owned by about 35 descendants of Chief Moses and managed by the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Jeffrey Webb, manager of Wapato Heritage LLC which represents owners with a 25 percent interest in the property, said he also doesn’t know what plans are for the property.

He is also waiting to learn what will happen to the MA-8 Golf Course, which was operated by Wapato Heritage until a U.S. District Court judge ruled last November that a 25-year lease renewal option had not been properly executed.

Webb said the golf course is still “in suspense mode. It has not opened yet, and an opening date is yet to be decided.”

Williams said it’s uncertain when, or if, the Colville Tribes will replace the Mill Bay Casino with a permanent facility.

“We have to develop a relationship with the community there so we can determine how best we can add to the environment of the whole Chelan area,” he said.

He said the tribes anticipate it will take about five years to find a permanent location and replace the transitional casino.

The Colville Tribes hired CTEC’s Colville Tribal Service Corp. to do the site development work.

Campobasso said about 10 employees are now working to clear ground and will pave a parking lot and RV site.