RIDGEFIELD, WA – ilani celebrated their recent four year anniversary by breaking ground on a long-awaited hotel property. Expected to open in 2023, the 14-story, nearly 300-room glass-encased tower is the next phase in the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s master development plan. The hotel will offer four-diamond level guest service and amenities, including a mix of room types and suites, full-service luxury spa, indoor-outdoor pool experience, and a signature top-floor restaurant with views of the beautiful Pacific Northwest.
“The new hotel will be an important extension of the ilani experience, giving our guests the opportunity to make their trip a true getaway by immersing themselves in four-star quality service and luxurious amenities overnight,” said Kara Fox-LaRose, President and General Manager. “Our design team is skilled at respectfully incorporating elements of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s heritage, and the structure will serve as a beacon, drawing visitors from far and wide and generating economic activity for our entire region.”
Since opening ilani in April 2017, the Cowlitz Tribe has gradually expanded the property’s amenities, accommodating existing demand while investing in future growth opportunities. At opening, ilani included nearly 100,000 sq. ft. of gaming as well as space for more than a dozen restaurants, bars, and retailers. Expansion is underway to add additional gaming and dining options with completion expected in summer 2021. In 2018, the tribe added the Meeting & Entertainment Center, hosting local events and nationally known performers. Currently, the reservation employs more than 1,500 team members. The hotel tower will create additional jobs and reinforces the tribe’s commitment to its people, to self-sufficiency and to bringing economic opportunity to the region.
“A hotel for ilani has long been part of our vision, and the past four years have been dedicated to putting all the necessary elements in place,” said Philip Harju, Chairman of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe. “We are thrilled to celebrate four successful years of ilani by embarking on this latest venture.”
Friedmutter Group of Las Vegas will serve as project architect, and Howard S. Wright, based in Portland, OR, as general contractor. The hotel project is made possible through collaboration with Salishan-Mohegan Development. The Cowlitz and Mohegan Tribes continue working together to master plan the Cowlitz reservation, while investing in economic development that compliments their existing businesses and those of their regions.
During construction, the project should make an immediate impact locally, as ilani, the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and their team engages many local contractors and subcontractors for services. Once complete, the hotel is anticipated to employ additional team members from neighboring communities, and by providing overnight stays, ilani has the potential to drive more visitors to the region.
“The Cowlitz Indian Tribe and ilani have shown themselves to be good neighbors to Southwest Washington communities,” said John McDonagh, President and CEO of the Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. “In addition to supporting the Cowlitz people, the tribe has made a substantial impact on our local businesses and non-profits, particularly during challenging times brought on by the pandemic. We congratulate the tribe on ilani’s four-year anniversary and on the next phase of its development.”