Coquille Tribe not worried about competition from a new casino

Artist's rendering of the Cedars at Bear Creek, a Class II facility proposed by the Coquille Tribe. Image from Facebook

The Coquille Tribe is embracing the spirit of competition amid changes in Oregon's Indian gaming market.

The Coquilles operate the Mill Casino, a Class III facility, in North Bend. This spring, the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians will be opening the Three Rivers Casino Coos Bay, a Class II facility, less than three miles away.

But the Coquilles aren't sitting idle. The tribe is seeking federal approval to open the Class II Cedars at Bear Creek in Medford, about 186 miles way.

"I'm so excited to be here and talking about the jobs that we'll be bringing to Medford,” Coquille Economic Development Corporation CEO Judy Metcalf told KCBY-TV. "“We're looking at 233 new jobs. These are jobs we'll be hiring for locally that include great benefits such as 401k, PTO, sick time and career advancement opportunities."

Another tribe, however, isn't as thrilled. The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe believes the new development will hurt its Seven Feathers Casino Resort, a Class III facility about 70 miles away.

"The Coquille have been touting that they are going to be bringing 200 jobs to the community," Cow Creek CEO Michael Rondeau told KCBY. "Those are not new jobs. They will be redistributed from gaming facilities that are known as the mom-and-pop shops for the lottery, the delis and such. Those will be going out of business and those employees will be recycled into that 200 number."

Citing the threat, the Cow Creek Band laid off 93 casino employees earlier this week. The tribe is pressuring the Bureau of Indian Affairs to reject the Coquille land-into-trust application.

Get the Story:
Coquille & Cow Creek Tribes remain at odds on Medford casino issue (KCBY 2/5)

Federal Register Notice:
Intent To Prepare an Environmental Impact Statement for the Proposed Coquille Indian Tribe Fee-to-Trust and Casino Project, City of Medford, Jackson County, Oregon (January 15, 2015)

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BIA holds public hearing on Coquille Tribe off-reservation casino (2/4)
Cow Creek Band ties casino layoffs to economy and rival tribe (2/3)
Oregon tribe on track to open new gaming facility in late spring (01/12)

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