Muckleshoot Tribe lifts final iron beam onto future hotel tower

To the beating of drums, dancing and the chanting of sacred songs, the Muckleshoot Tribe gathered to celebrate the topping-off ceremonies for its 18-story, 400-room, luxury hotel tower on Aug. 26

Then, to a loud cheer, construction workers hoisted the final steel beam for the Muckleshoot Casino’s highly-anticipated resort tower into place, and as it slid into place, the tribe celebrated the feat with fireworks. The 1,000-pound, 25-foot-long beam bears the signatures of Muckleshoot Indian Tribal members and the men and women who built the 18-story structure.

The event heralds the first major addition to the casino since the gaming establishment opened 27 years ago at 2402 Auburn Way S.

“In the 1980s,” said Tyrone Simmons, chief operating officer of the Muckleshoot Casino, “the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe entered the gaming industry by opening Muckleshoot Bingo to provide the governmental services, economic diversification, and Tribal member opportunities. These possibilities — created by the Tribal Council, Muckleshoot Bingo, and General Council — led to the creation of what is now one of the region’s most vital economic engines, the Muckleshoot Casino, in 1995.”

The project, which will add about 20,000 square feet of gaming space to the tribal complex, capped by a rooftop restaurant, is one part of the significant casino upgrade and expansion that the tribe announced in February 2019, encompassing a new overall floor plan, expanded food options, a 25,000-square-foot events center and a bigger smoke-free area.

Once complete in the fall of 2023, the glass tower — which will boast approximately 400 guestrooms, expanded gaming, an indoor pool, spa services, and a rooftop steakhouse among its amenities — will be the pinnacle of a multi-phase evolution for Muckleshoot Casino, and will be the largest of its kind in Washington state, besting Tulalip, which today is the biggest casino and casino resort hotel in the state.

The Muckleshoot Casino is located between the future hotel and the fireworks discharge area. Sixty percent of the rooms will face to the southeast, away from the discharge area, so their occupants won’t hear much, but the remaining rooms that do face the discharge area will, meaning the nerves of hotel clientele may require an adjustment or two.

Tribe and casino officials have acknowledged that the enhanced casino and resort hotel reflect the tribe’s need to respond to “guest demand” and “a widening customer base,” no doubt with a competitive eye on the Tulalip Tribe’s $140 million QuilCeda Creek Casino and 150-room hotel.

“Coming in fall 2023,” Simmons said, “the Muckleshoot Casino’s legacy will reach greater heights with the opening of a premier destination experience. The 18-story, approximately 400-room resort will stand proud for generations.”