Developers of Oregon’s first non-tribal casino are downplaying it as a smaller part of a larger entertainment venue according to plans revealed this week. Officials at the two Canadian companies looking to develop the shuttered dog track east of Portland looked like they were aiming to deflect attention away from the casino element. They stated that the gambling industry component would be a smaller part of a complex containing a hotel, movie theatre and pool. The key to the plans being approved will be the state’s voters. Two years ago the plans saw just 32 percent in favor of the plan and it explains why they’ve revealed a lot more detail this time.
“We truly want this development and destination to be an integral part of the community of Wood Village,” said Jeff Parr, co-chief executive of Clairvest Group Inc., a Toronto-based investment firm with a number of casino holdings.
The plans include a 125-room four-star hotel, water slide, bowling alley, a concert hall and theatre. That’s before you consider the 2,000 slots and 60 card tables the new casino will bring.
Indian tribes are also staunchly opposed to the plans and with the nearest venue only 40 miles away it’s no real surprise that groups representing the nine tribal casinos are up in arms about the idea. There is also a campaign opposing the measure, with spokeswoman Cynara Lilly adding: “Getting voters excited about one possible plan is simply a ploy to distract voters from what’s really happening, which is a foreign company sees a chance to make huge profit off of Oregonians and take the money out of the state.”