Angel of the Winds making more room for people to play

By Libby Martucci The Herald Business Journal

The Angel of the Winds Casino opened its doors 10 years ago this October.

It was due for an expansion.

The casino at 3438 Stoluckquamish Lane, Arlington, is adding a five-story, 125-room hotel that will boast 54 king rooms and 71 double queen rooms.

That’s 80,000 square feet of new space.

Also included in the expansion is a new smoke shop, gift shop, and valet station with a brand new entrance as well.

The $20 million expansion of the casino, owned by the Stillaguamish Tribe, will be adding between 50 to 60 jobs to the almost 500-employee workforce at the casino.

The new facility will allow its guests to have the option to stay and play, turning a simple trip to the casino to a mini getaway.

General manager Travis O’Neil shared more about the expansion and what he wants people to know about the new hotel.

Q. Why is Angel of the Winds expanding with this hotel project?

A. Well we’ve had a master plan for a while now, but you know five years ago the economy was not so good so the idea of the hotel was not feasible at that time. We plotted out the tribe’s property that we were able to expand upon and decided what could we do there, what made the most sense, and a hotel was always at the top of the list.

Q. What is unique or unusual about this project?

A. I would say the delivery process. We went with a developer type of turnkey process, where we work with a company out of Memphis Tennessee called Dream Catcher Hotels. We put together our list of wants and needs then they guarantee the costs, handle most details, even down to the soaps in the bathrooms and linens in the rooms.

Q. How will this compete with other hotels at casinos, not only in Snohomish County but elsewhere?

A. Well, obviously we are a casino hotel property, so I think it’s just going to expand our customer base. We want to make sure it’s successful, make sure that we build our customer base and we see the return to the tribe in their investment. It will be like this hotel has been here for years. It will fit right in because it is very comfortable and a very inviting atmosphere.

Q. When it comes time to add the new 50 to 60 employees, how will they be hired?

A. We plan on posting open positions later this summer as we confirm the hotel opening date. We normally post on our website — www.angelofthewinds.com/employment.

Q. Art is incorporated into the casino. Is that the plan for the hotel as well?

A. The casino is working with the Stillaguamish Tribe to determine finish levels and artwork types and locations. We do not have a definitive plan as of today, but it will be ready for the grand opening.

Q. Is the project still on track for a New Year’s Eve opening?

A. We are actually ahead of schedule. I had a great meeting last week with the contractor and he felt comfortable to say out loud and confirm that they are about a month ahead of schedule. So yes, it is still on track, barring anything else come up in the mean time, but so far so good.

Q. What are the future plans for Angel of the Winds?

A. Well, I think at this point the focus is going to be on the hotel and making sure we operate it efficiently. Then we do have some more ideas as far as our master plan down the road but at this point it would be too early to say because something else might come up.

Q. What should people know about this expansion?

A. We are the last Western Washington casino property within the state, well along the I-5 corridor anyway, to have a hotel. So I think we are the newest kid on the block as far as that goes. Hopefully we will make a great impression, because we are off the freeway a little bit and it’s really a nice little get away. It’s going to be a very nice property and I hope people give us a chance and see what we are all about.

For more information about Angel Of The Winds and its expansion visit www.angelofthewinds.com.