Numbers tend to loom large at casinos, and 2020 wasn’t the best for Northern Quest Resort & Casino or many other gaming halls. However, the Big 2-0 is looking and feeling different in 2021 for Northern Quest, as the Airway Heights casino is celebrating its 20th anniversary.
A number of new venues will open in 2021, such as an Asian-fusion bistro, a pizza-by-the-slice restaurant and an upscale nightclub. A sportsbook location, which is awaiting a green light, will arrive when the state finalizes sports betting, which was approved by the legislature last year.
“We really focus on making each moment memorable for our guests,” said Nick Pierre, Northern Quest’s general manager. “Our goal is to be the premiere entertainment choice for this community. When you look at our hotel, our dining and our summer concerts, we’re definitely setting the bar for everyone here in this area, and I want to continue that.”
Regarding summer events, Northern Quest plans to bring back live music and events to its outdoor stage in July. Ventriloquist-comic Jeff Dunham kicks off the season July 10. Iconic rapper Ice Cube takes the stage July 22. Motown legend Smokey Robinson, who is one of the most under-heralded songwriters, returns July 24. Country comic and singer Rodney Carrington will perform Aug. 6.
The godfather of pop-punk Billy Idol will play Aug. 12. Country singer Brantley Gilbert will hit the stage Aug. 13. Foreigner, which features songwriter-guitarist Mick Jones, will deliver the hits Sept. 16. Hootie and the Blowfish frontman Darius Rucker continues to enjoy his second act. The former pop-rock sensation will render his country hits Sept. 24.
And just this week, Collective Soul, Better Than Ezra and guest Tonic were added to the lineup for Aug. 20, and Sammy Hagar and the Circle return to the stage at Northern Quest on Aug. 22.
For those looking for a fresh, revitalizing spa experience, check out the Himalayan Salt Room at La Rive Spa. The new space is illuminated with hand-carved pure Himalayan salt bricks and heated Wave and Dream Loungers. The tranquil room features halotherapy, which infuses pure Himalayan salt into the air of the Salt Room. La Rive is the only luxury spa in the Inland Northwest to feature a Himalayan Salt Room.
“The Kalispel Tribe has a long history of embracing natural healing elements from the Earth,” said Yvonne Smith, senior director of resort experience at Northern Quest. “At La Rive, we are honored to carry on this tradition with the health and well-being of our guests and team members at the forefront of everything we do. With this in mind, we chose to create a Himalayan Salt Room experience with a focus on ultimate relaxation and wellness.”
Another new attraction at Northern Quest is the dessert menu at Masselow’s Steakhouse. The spring selections make for a difficult choice. The chocolate blackout cake, with rosemary-vanilla anglaise, black pepper-chocolate ice cream and balsamic-blueberry compote, is inventive and a can’t miss. The raspberry rhubarb tart, which is comprised of spiced out streusel, rhubarb-rose sorbet and dehydrated rhubarb, is great for those who love fruit that’s, well, tart.
For those who would rather not go too far out, there’s the huckleberry cheesecake, which goes nicely with a cup of Thomas Hammer, who just opened a location on the South Hill. These decadent desserts should come as no surprise, as they were created by pastry chef Kristina Stephenson, who competed on the Food Network’s “Holiday Baking Championships” last fall.
If you go: Northern Quest Resort & Casino, 100 N. Hayford Road, Airway Heights, (877) 871-6772 and northernquest.com.
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe to the Spokane7 email newsletter
Get the day’s top entertainment headlines delivered to your inbox every morning.