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Tulalip Resort hotel celebrates soft opening

20 June 2008

TULALIP, Seattle -- As reported by the Seattle Times: "Earlier this week, as workers in hard hats touched up hallway paint and new front-desk staff practiced checking in guests, about the only thing completely ready in the new $130 million Tulalip Resort hotel set to open today were three magnificent cedar poles rising two stories in the lobby.

"Carved by a team of Tulalip artists, the poles both welcome guests and suggest the extent to which the Tulalips' vision of a luxury resort with a distinctive tribal identity is poised to take its place in the Tulalip Tribes' growing portfolio of successful business ventures.

"Even high gas prices and the weak economy aren't dampening tribal leaders' predictions that the new 12-story hotel near Marysville will become a destination resort competing not with Best Westerns and Holiday Inns along the Interstate 5 corridor, but with the glamorous casino-hotels of Las Vegas itself.

"...Tribal leaders envision high-end gamblers staying for several days in one of the deluxe 'themed' suites that will rent for as much as $5,000 a night. Boxing matches and top-name entertainers are also in the works.

"Tribal officials concede opening a luxury hotel 40 miles north of Seattle has its challenges. Convention and meeting planners typically choose cities with high vacation appeal, and Everett and Marysville aren't on the map.

"...Guests staying in one of the hotel's standard rooms will be treated to luxe style: granite counters, dark African wenge-wood trim, 47-inch flat-screen TVs, Tulalip-designed art on the walls, and floor-to-ceiling windows, although the view is mostly of the vast parking lot that surrounds the casino and hotel. A king or queen room, both about a third larger than standard hotel rooms at 500 square feet, will cost $175 per night on a weekend once the hotel is complete.

"...The grand opening is planned for Aug. 15, with plans to use the intervening weeks to fine-tune service and to test-drive banquet and meeting facilities, and also help break in 425 new employees, about 30 percent of them tribal members..."

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