126,700 square feet, 1,500 gaming slot machines, and endless entertainment. The new Quil Ceda Creek Casino is a breath of fresh air during the trying times of 2020. Wearing hard hats, PPE vests, masks, and protective glasses, Classic Country KXA morning show host Stitch Mitchell and I were given a special media access tour of the newly constructed Quil Ceda Creek Casino (QCC) located off I-5 exit 199 in Marysville.

When you first walk in, your eyes can’t help but gaze around at the grand feeling of it all: the state-of-the-art slot machines, the wondrous sense of excitement, and the 126,700 square feet of possibility. The slot machines look like luxury sports cars, their sleek curved screens and shiny new monitors stood at the ready, just waiting for someone to test their luck and maybe walk away with a jackpot. Between the original gaming machines and the new additional 500 machines, QCC has already installed over 950 machines out of 1,500.

The casino has implemented a raised floor system with a forced-air design. This design will take the air from the HVAC on the roof and push it down through vents that run underneath the floor. The air will then be released throughout the casino through little vents located all over the floor. By doing this, it should help circulate the air and push smoke up creating a cleaner environment. Lorraine Cebollero, VP of Marketing explained that the casino was able to over double in size from its original location. As of today, the total budget for the new renovations sits at over $150 million dollars. In addition, they will be hiring 200 more staff and employees to work at the new location.

The casino has much to offer guests with their new and enhanced food and beverage experience including a state-of-the-industry Green Kitchen. When you enter “The Kitchen”, the name of the food hall, you enter a 360-degree arena of dining options serving made-to-order dishes.

Assistant Director of Food and Beverage for the casino, Shane Warbus, showed us around each dining option explaining how the dining hall experience works. “When you come in, we will hand you a transaction card which will record everything you order. You will hand the person at the counter your card and they will swipe it. Then, they’ll give it back to you and you can go to a different place and order something else. Once you’re ready to go, you hand the cashier your card and pay for all your food at one time.”

Breakfast, coffee, beer, steak, burgers, pizza, pasta, soup, they have it all. Before the renovation began, Quil Ceda asked many of their customers what kind of dining options they wanted. Warbus explained how many of the players wanted quick dining options with a variety of choices. As a result, they have transformed their dining experience to accommodate the feedback of their clients. The various kitchens have adapted a Green Kitchen model that is safer for the environment and creates a better dining experience and atmosphere that will benefit anyone who enjoys a meal at the casino.

“The fryers are completely enclosed, we don’t have the old vat fryers where all the cooking vapors spread out into the air and then get pushed out into the environment,” said Warbus. “This has a catalytic converter on the back, so it converts all those vapors into oxygen and C02.” In addition to the “Perfect Fryer”, the casino also incorporated new ovens that use wind-speed technology that saves energy and produces more intensified heat than industrial convection ovens. But for all you steak lovers out there, don’t freak out! There is still a charbroiler to make your steaks taste just right that you can pair with any of their 20 beers on-tap.

Just past the food is an expanded entertainment lounge called, “The Stage”. This room is for all you sports junkies. You will be surrounded by four walls with 4 giant TVs and projection screens to watch any of QCC’s Pay-Per-View fights and sporting events. The main Projection Screen is positioned on the back wall that is located on the backdrop of the stage and stands at what looks like maybe 20 feet by 20-feet of screen. On the surrounding walls, the screens seem to be maybe 5-feet by 30 feet long. And, to top it off, just behind the seating for the stage is a bar where you can order drinks of all kinds. What’s above the bar? You guessed it, another tv.

Included In the luxurious functuay lies beautiful decor that is inspired by the local tribal culture. At the entrance of one of the restaurants stands a floor-to-ceiling shadow box display consisting of 6 individual illuminated cases that will hold carved cedar-paddles that will be made by local tribal artists. Once the paddles are completed, they will be put up for display at the entrance of one of the restaurant, “The Landing”.

Belinda Hegnes, Interim Executive VP of Quil Ceda Creek Casino touched on her favorite part of the project, “Being able to engage our guests and engage our gamers and find out what they love about the casino and find out what they want to see more of is great,” said Hegnes. “They love a fun, friendly, comfortable environment and the convenience of where we’re located.”

The new and improved Quil Ceda Creek Casino will have 16-table games including Craps, I-Rulet (no chips but still a dealer), Mini-baccarat, and many more. The casino has also built a six-story parking garage that can fit an additional 700 cars, bringing the total number of parking stalls to over 1,000. The Casino plans to open in early Q1 of 2021.

 

 

Daniel Albert is an award-winning journalist studying Integrated Strategic Communications at the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University.