Elwha River Casino in Washington plans massive expansion

March 18, 2022

Elwha River Casino is expanding, and the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe is pleased to announce it. The present 10,000 square foot casino facility debuted in March 2009 will have a new 12,130 square foot extension with a total of 300 gaming machines.

Due to COVID-19, the Elwha River Casino was shuttered from March to October in 2020, then reopened with all other gambling machines switched off. It is now currently fully operational, with all 147 machines ready and a total capacity of 263 persons. The seating capacity will be increased to 875 persons, with 300 gaming machines on the gaming floor.

They will also begin their first step in providing alcohol service through the expansion.

According to said Mike Watson, the Class 11 gaming facility's general manager, although the casino will expand, management hopes to maintain the small ambiance of the resort while providing more to clients. 'We've been fortunate with the guest base we've had the last 13 years. We don't want to lose our identity as we expand," he said.

On March 2, they have held a groundbreaking ceremony to begin the project's construction. This building is slated to be finished in early 2023.

Watson estimates that they would need 15 to 20 more employments for the casino's expansion. Currently, the Elwha River Casino employs 42 people.

The new roles are scheduled to be advertised in October or November of this year. According to aid Rena Barkley, director of marketing for the casino at 631 Stratton Road, additional personnel will be required in every aspect of the business.

Current challenges

The River's Edge Bar & Lounge presently has a seating capacity of roughly ten people. After the renovations, its capacity will be increased to between 80 and 100 diners, with indoor and outdoor seats, a new menu, and a live entertainment section for bands and karaoke.

Watson would not disclose the cost of the expansion but claimed it had increased by 35 percent to 40 percent as a result of the epidemic and the scarcity of resources.

"That's the challenge we're facing right now, the lead time for all the mechanical items and kitchen equipment," Watson added.

In response to the required health protocol, Watson explained that they had implemented sanitation in place before the pandemic. Thus, the regulations won't affect much.

The construction management oversight will be provided by Woodstone, Inc. of Minnesota, a Native American-owned construction firm, said Barkley. She further explained Bergman Walls and Associates collaborated with the owner to give architectural design and concepts to bring the project to life.

The history

On the north shore of the Olympic Peninsula, approximately west of Port Angeles, Washington, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe lives in the Lower Elwha River Valley and neighboring cliffs. Since time immemorial, the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe has inhabited this area as the United States recognized in the 1855 Treaty of Point No Point.

The tribe constructed the Elwha River Casino in 2009. Ever since the casino has scooped a total of $7 million in revenue and raised $350k funding.

Gus Anderson
Gus Anderson is a gambling wizard. As a kid he dreamt about becoming a Tennis, Hockey and Golf professional but ended up as a gambling professional with focus on both sports & casino.