- Spirit Mountain Casino (Oregon)
Spirit Mountain Casino is a Native American casino located in
Grand Ronde, Oregon, United Stateson Oregon Route 18. It is operated by the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde Community of Oregon, and was created to "enhance economic self-sufficiency opportunities for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, its members and surrounding communities; to promote economic diversification by the Tribes: to support a variety of housing, educational and cultural programs under the direction of Tribal Council". [cite web | title = Spirit Mountain Casino - The Grand Ronde, Oregon Casino | publisher = Spirit Mountain Casino | url = http://www.spiritmountain.com/aboutus/ | accessdate = 2006-12-01] It is the state's busiest , drawing three million visitors a year. [http://oregonianextra.blogs.oregonlive.com/default.asp?item=427122 Spirit Mountain: Casino's odds worry fire chief] , a December 2006 blog entry from " The Oregonian" newsroom]
The casino's amenities include a 254-room hotel, convert|90000|sqft|m2 of gaming floors, five restaurants, live entertainment and other special events. Games include 2000
slot machines, blackjack, craps, poker, pai gow poker, roulette, and keno.
pirit Mountain Community Fund
Six percent of the profits from the casino goes to the Spirit Mountain Community Fund (SMCF) and are in turn donated to organizations in western Oregon, an area which includes eleven counties: Clackamas, Multnomah, Washington, Tillamook, Lincoln, Yamhill, Polk, Marion, Benton, Linn, and Lane. [ [http://www.thecommunityfund.com/about/ About the Fund] from the Spirit Mountain Community Fund website] Since 1998, the SMCF has also funded the Mark O. Hatfield Fellowship to enable a Native American to serve as a staff member to a member of the U.S. Congressional Delegation from Oregon. [ [http://www.oregonminoritybusiness.com/2006/winter/Hatfield-Fellow_Dennis-Worden.html Dennis Worden To Work in Congress as Hatfield Fellow] , from the
Oregon Minority Businesswebsite]
Spirit Mountain Casino recently completed its fourth major expansion since it opened its doors in 1995. On
February 5, 2007members of the Confederated Tribes of the Grand Ronde joined executive staff for the groundbreaking on the new South Expansion Project. The two-story, 135,396 square-foot project was completed early because of good winter weather and opened on May 15, 2008. The addition includes a 1,800-seat events and entertainment center, which has already featured Dana Carvey, Blues Traveler, Curtis Salgado, Clint Black and Wynonna Judd in concert; the new Cedar Blank Buffet; the largest buffet in Oregon; conference rooms, and internal office space for the casino's Human Resources Department. The Cedar Plank Buffet features seven chef stations featuring international cuisine, pizza, seafood, carving dishes, American and Asian food, and bakery items.
Issues with fire protection
An article in The Oregonian, the daily newspaper based in Portland, erroneously claimed that fire safety at Spirit Mountain Casino is an issue because West Valley Fire District lacks a hook and ladder truck.
When the issue of fire safety at Spirit Mountain Casino was first raised in 2004 by West Valley Fire District's Chief Eddings, members of the Spirit Mountain Gaming Commission met with Oregon State Police, the state Department of Justice and the State Fire Marshall and West Valley Fire District. The Tribe commissioned an independent fire risk analysis by HYT Corp., which found that Spirit Mountain Casino and its lodge represent a model facility in regards to the features and programs in place for fire and life safety to protect employees and patrons from injury and death.
Acquisition of a hook and ladder truck by West Valley Fire District would be of no value to the casino fire effort. "By the time West Valley arrives, the fire suppression system has activated and the building is evacuated," said Lynn Hillman, former executive director of the Spirit Mountain Gaming Commission. "Their job would be to perform mop-up, and that doesn't require a hook and ladder truck."
"The system is so effective that if a fire emergency were to occur, the casino and lodge, patrons and employees would be efficiently evacuated and the fire likely suppressed before the arrival of fire suppression services," the Tribe's General Manager, Chris Leno, said.
The Tribe's Spirit Mountain Community Fund, which donates 6 percent of the casino's profits to nonprofit organizations in 11 western Oregon counties, has given more than $350,000 to West Valley for equipment needs. However, based on the independent analysis, the Tribe disagrees about the need for a hook and ladder truck vis-a-vis Spirit Mountain Casino.
"The bottom line is that fire and life safety at our casino is NOT an issue," Hillman said in the Tribal newspaper, Smoke Signals, on Jan. 15, 2007.
* [http://www.spiritmountain.com Official website]
* [http://www.thecommunityfund.com/ Spirit Mountain Community Fund website]
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