Electrician Todd Byfield heads up a ladder to install lighting at Tulalip Resort Casino on Monday in Tulalip. National developer Kitchell is renovating 360 rooms and building a “mega-suite” at the resort. Construction will occur so that 70 percent of the hotel rooms will be open at a time.

Work has begun on Tulalip Resort Casino’s $15 million renovation

TULALIP — Work is already under way on a $15 million renovation of the less-than-10-year-old hotel at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

The construction will take place over the next year in phases so that at least 70 percent of the hotel remains open at all times.

The work includes a redesign of 360 rooms and a redo of one of the five “mega-suites.” The cost does not include the design work or the furnishings.

The project is expected to be complete by next spring.

General contractor Kitchell, which is based in Phoenix, Arizona, but has opened a Tulalip office, was awarded the contract by the Tulalip Tribes.

“This is a four-diamond resort,” Kitchell project manager Mike Fitch said. “In order to maintain that four-diamond resort status, you’ve got to keep resetting the bar.”

He said that guests will notice a “night-and-day” difference between what the rooms and public spaces were and what they will look like after the construction.

He said all the light fixtures are being changed out, new furniture is being brought in and every room will come with an updated media hub for modern electronics. He noted that the mirrors will all include Bluetooth speakers; the mirrors are being built by Everett-based Electric Mirror.

Fitch said construction started at the top of the hotel and work is happening on the 11th and 12th floors. The resort has closed the 10th floor as a sound barrier for current hotel guests.

Seattle-based Ruhl-Parr/Moran Architects is the project designer, and worked on the hotel when it opened in 2008. IDI Studio also of Seattle is the interior designer working on the project.

The Tulalip Resort Casino has been a “very successful hotel in the past and they want to continue that success,” said Jim Anderson of Ruhl-Parr/Moran.

Kitchell, in seeking to obtain the contract from the Tulalip Tribes, noted its effort to include American Indian-owned companies in the bid process for work.

For this project, 17 percent of the subcontracting work is being done by American Indian companies. Most of those are Tulalip Tribal member companies.

Kitchell has worked on other tribal community projects including the Ak-Chin Multipurpose Justice Center in Maricopa, Arizona, Wild Horse Pass Hotel &Casino in Chandler, Arizona, and the under-construction Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Justice Center in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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