Ilani Casino: UNION BUILT


Photos by Mike Brewington

The recently opened ilani Casino Resort (pronounced ay-LAN-ay) in Ridgefield, Washington, was union-built under a project labor agreement between the Cowlitz Tribe and the Columbia Pacific Building Trades Council. Swinerton Builders is the general contractor. 

The $510 million complex broke ground in September 2015, and was completed on April 24, 2017 — on time and under budget. It includes a 368,000 square foot casino with 100,000 square feet of gaming space and 15 restaurants, bars and retail outlets; a freeway interchange rebuild off I-5 that includes a four-lane overpass with bicycle and pedestrian paths; and a water reclamation plant to treat casino sewage.

More than 2,600 union construction workers went through Swinerton’s job site safety training program before entering the job site, said Project Manager Cameron Coleman. The project logged a total of 764,000 work-hours for all of the construction trades.

The next phase is a 2,500-seat performance venue. Swinerton Builders started construction last week, with completion slated for spring of 2018. Also on the docket is a 250-room, eight-story resort hotel.

The ilani Casino (ilani means ‘sing’ in the Cowlitz language) is located 25 miles north of Portland on I-5 at Exit 16. It was developed by the Cowlitz Tribe in partnership with the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut.


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