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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Kalispel Tribe opens $14 million RV resort in Airway Heights

UPDATED: Fri., May 31, 2019

Brandon Haugen, general manager of Kalispel Development, strolls past some of the 18 tiny cottages homes at the new Northern Quest RV Resort on Friday. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)
Brandon Haugen, general manager of Kalispel Development, strolls past some of the 18 tiny cottages homes at the new Northern Quest RV Resort on Friday. (Dan Pelle / The Spokesman-Review)

The Kalispel Tribe is opening its new Northern Quest RV Resort this weekend in Airway Heights, anticipating that it will attract more than 40,000 guests a year.

The $14 million resort – a Bud Surles Signature Resort – which is opening Saturday, offers 38 pull-through, back-in and luxury RV sites as well as 18 furnished tiny cottages for rent adjacent to Northern Quest Casino & Resort.

The Kalispel Tribe had been planning the RV resort for more than 15 years, but it took time to determine an optimal site for the project, said Brandon Haugen, general manager for Kalispel Development.

The RV resort is anticipated to attract families, travelers and concert attendees, he said.

“RV parks have a demographic that enjoys entertainment and relaxation. Also, a lot of resort casinos have RV parks,” Haugen said. “There’s a lot of nice RV parks in the community, but ours will have amenities that will attract different customers to the region.”

The 17-acre gated resort features a clubhouse, outdoor pool with cabanas, laundry facilities, catering kitchen, golf cart rentals, fitness center, dog park, fire pits, shower facilities and a concierge service.

The seven luxury RV sites include a patio with furniture, fire pit, full hookups and complementary Wi-Fi. The 400-square-foot one- and two-bedroom cottages are equipped with modern amenities and come with kitchenettes, custom spa products and furnished decks with a grill.

The cottages rent from $177 to $217 nightly, excluding weekends and special events, when there’s a $40 price premium. RV sites start at $75, depending on dates, according to the Northern Quest Resort & Casino website.

By July, the resort will expand to include 67 RV sites, said Julie Holland, Northern Quest Resort & Casino spokeswoman.

Although luxury RV parks are common in Southern states, they are uncommon in this region, said Donda Walsh, Northern Quest RV Resort manager.

“People come up from the South and they look for these kinds of places,” she said, adding there seems to be a trend of RV travelers visiting casinos.

The RV resort is already sold out for Hoopfest and Northern Quest Resort & Casino’s first outdoor concert of the season June 9 that will feature Train and Goo Goo Dolls.

There are plans to add packages that offer shish kabobs for grilling or s’mores for roasting at the fire pits, Walsh said.

Northern Quest RV Resort was designed by the Kalispel Tribe in partnership with the late Surles, who was a nationally recognized RV resort developer.

Surles served as director of Arkansas State Parks, assistant superintendent of Yellowstone National Park, and chief of concessions management and associate director of the Rocky Mountain Region for the National Park Service. He developed resorts in more than 22 states before he died of cancer in 2017.

“When we met Bud for the first time, there was a connection and sense of trust. He was a good person and had lots of experience,” Haugen said. “We can’t emphasize enough that he was influential in the RV park industry and his legacy will live on here.”

The Kalispel Tribe built a “memorial garden” for Surles at the RV resort with trees and landscaping native to Idaho, his former home.

The resort was designed by Spokane-based Womer & Associates and built by Garco Construction. Spokane Valley-based Park Model Homes built the tiny cottages.

Northern Quest Resort & Casino underwent a large expansion project last year that added a retail store, movie and dinner theater, arcade and entertainment center for children, a 216-unit apartment complex and the RV resort.

Haugen said the Kalispel Tribe intends to further develop 300 acres of land it owns in Airway Heights through the addition of retail stores, family friendly entertainment and more housing units.

The Kalispel Tribe employs more than 2,300 people in Spokane and Pend Oreille counties. The RV resort will employ 24 full- and part-time workers.

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