The Stillaguamish Tribe cut the ribbon to a major expansion to their Angel of the Winds casino on Oct. 24 that includes restaurants, a concert space, a bowling alley and more.
The Tribe’s casino received a lot of new features that aren’t typical of casinos through the process.
“We wanted to take this facility to the next level so over the last few years we went through a lot of paper and thinking about how we could make this property unique and special,” said architect Brett Ewing who worked on the project.
A 16-lane bowling alley, “Strikerz Bowling,” is part of the expansion, as well as “All Things Sports” which includes sports simulators for golf, baseball, football, lacrosse, bocce ball and ‘zombie dodgeball.’
Those two venues are all-ages and open until 9 p.m.
A number of new restaurants have been added in the expansion and are also all-ages, including the Whiskey Prime Steakhouse, Jade Fusion and the Riverside Buffet.
Two bars were also added to the building.
The casino floor itself has been remodeled and a parking garage was added to Angel of the Winds.
Finally, the River Run Event Center provides a new venue for employee functions, conferences and concerts, such as classic rock band Foghat which is scheduled to perform at Angel of the Winds on Nov. 9.
The Angel of the Winds casino has brought funds into the Stillaguamish Tribe, but it was also a huge lift for tribal members originally.
“You’re standing where our housing used to be. The leaps that we took to make a decision to uproot our community to go into this venture of economic development weighed very heavily on us and on our families,” said Shawn Yanity, chairman of the Stillaguamish Tribe.
The last 15 years have been hard on many, he said.
“We literally took our infrastructure where we all gather, where our families and kids grew up, and displaced them,” said Yanity.
“This has been a blessing but it has also been a curse for us in losing that connection, but we’re very thankful in where we are at right now,” he said.
The Stillaguamish Tribe plans to rebuild that community soon though.
“Not too far from here we are rebuilding our village,” said Yanity. “It’s sad that it’s taken us 15 years to get there, but our hands go up to each and everyone that’s worked on that."
The funds that the Tribe’s businesses have been bringing in have helped them become community partners, said Yanity.
“For every person that comes and does business with us, whether it’s here, the gas stations or the clinics, they play a big part in our active role in our community,” he said.
Arlington city administrator Paul Ellis said that the Stillaguamish Tribe has been a great partner.
“The support we have seen from them in our safety and quality of life has just been awesome,” said Ellis.
“It was just a few months ago that a lot of us were gathered at the river at Haller Park for the grand opening of the splash pad,” he said.
That splash pad was funded in large part due to a large $500,000 donation from the Stillaguamish Tribe.
“As a community we’re very excited for the expansion here,” said Ellis.