Tribal Government & News
Tribal Council approves loan to remodel Spirit Mountain Casino
Tribal Council approved a loan not to exceed $13 million to fund an extensive remodel of Spirit Mountain Casino during its Wednesday, Nov. 4, meeting.
During the previous day’s Legislative Action Committee meeting, Spirit Mountain Casino General Manager Stan Dillon said the loan would pay to renovate about 82,000 square feet of the casino, which just celebrated its 20th year in business.
Dillon said the renovation would be a one-year project that would substantially update the property.
According to a staff directive included in the Nov. 4 Tribal Council packet, the remodel will include moving the existing poker room to The Peak, adding a new casino entrance to the old poker room and adding a new bar to the casino.
“Moving poker and keno to The Peak will allow Spirit Mountain to rebrand The Peak as a non-smoking gaming area,” the directive stated. “The entire casino space will be remodeled with new finishes, carpet, lighting displays, ceiling fixtures and signage.”
In addition, the project will allow the casino to move approximately 200 slot machines from The Peak to the main casino floor, which will increase revenue by approximately $730,000 annually.
I-5 Design and Manufacture Inc. of Lacey, Wash., will perform the work.
The loan will be structured as a construction loan with interest-only payments due monthly during the construction period. Upon completion, the outstanding balance will be added to the Tribe/SMGI private note.
“It will not impact per capita or our other services and benefits. It’s one of the most successful things we have done to help build our endowments,” Tribal Council Chair Reyn Leno said about the loan structure.
In other action, Tribal Council approved amendments to the Elders’ Retirement Program and SSI Program that, among other items, provides three months of Elders Pension benefits to surviving spouses of Tribal Elders who walk on.
Tribal Council also re-designated the membership of the Plan Administrative Committee for the Tribal 401k Plan and approved the enrollment of two infants into the Tribe because they meet the requirements under the Tribal Constitution and Enrollment Ordinance.
Also included in the Nov. 4 Tribal Council packet was an authorization to proceed that approved moving forward with a constitutional amendment that would, if approved by voters, reduce the General Council participation requirements for initiatives, referendums and calling of special General Council meetings outlined in the Tribal Constitution.
Tribal Council member Jon A. George joined Tribal employees Brian Krehbiel, Bobby Mercier, Travis Stewart, Cristina Lara and Chelsea Clark for the cultural drumming and singing to open the meeting.
The meeting, in its entirety, can be viewed on the Tribal website at www.grandronde.org by clicking on the News tab and then Video.