The new Quil Ceda Creek Casino opened officially on Feb. 3 after a tribal ceremony and ribbon cutting to celebrate the new facility.
After about four years since the groundbreaking of the facility just off of I-5, the new casino was completed and opened for the general public.
“We’re glad to finally get through this to be able to open it and have everyone enjoy it,” said Teri Gobin, Tulalip Tribal chairwoman. “It is so exciting to be able to bring this to our community members and our staff."
The new casino is 126,000 square feet, double the size of the old Quil Ceda Creek Casino. It will have 1,500 gaming machines, a new food hall, a sit-down dining restaurant and a stage for live music and sports viewing.
The former Quil Ceda Creek Casino had been remodeled a number of times before the new casino was built.
“This plan started out as another remodel,” said Glen Gobin, vice chairman for the Tulalip Tribes. “What quickly surfaced was that if we’re going to spend that much money on a remodel, we need to just build a new one."
The Tulalip Resort Casino is largely meant for those coming from further away, either Seattle or across the Canadian border, while the Quil Ceda Creek Casino has usually been for locals, according to Ken Kettler, president/chief operating officer of the Tulalip Gaming Organization.
Officials who helped design the new Quil Ceda Creek Casino didn’t want to lose those who had always come there.
“There was nothing wrong with the old ‘Q,’ it was just reaching capacity,” he said. “We really kept in mind the importance of not changing the basic feel and relationships people had with the original ‘Q.'"
They have brought many of the same gaming machines to the new Quil Ceda Casino while adding more food options and a parking garage.
“There’s always been a demand for more food product,” said Kettler.
Smoking inside the casino is still prohibited because of the pandemic, however when it returns there are plans to ensure better air quality with a more advanced ventilation system and higher ceilings than the old casino.
“I think they’re going to enjoy it because of the air quality,” said Teri Gobin.
The casino is open to the public and will be following the same safety protocols as the Tulalip Resort Casino, said Kettler, including temperature checks, masks and deep cleaning throughout the day.
“We continue to follow all of those standards,” he said.
“We’ve been real pleased,” with how the safety measures have worked at the Tulalip Resort Casino, he said.
The Tulalip Tribes' two casinos are the biggest source of revenue for the Tribes.
“Our gaming operations help fund the government, which in turn funds all of our service programs, our youth programs, the housing for our elders,” said Teri Gobin. “So we suffered when it closed down for a little while, but we’ve bounced back since it got to open."
The funds have helped the Tulalip Tribes grow over the last couple of decades.
“From our humbled teaching and beginnings to where we are to be an economic powerhouse in Snohomish County and to be able to provide for the needs of our membership,” said Glen Gobin. “We hope that this continues to build upon that path."
Teri Gobin said economic development will continue with projects such as a state-of-the-art car wash planned for 116th Street and a new smoke shop/convenience store, as well as other projects.
“We have some really big projects on the horizon that we’re working on,” she said.