RIDGEFIELD, Washington— Crews recently broke ground on a new phase of development at Ilani in Ridgefield, Washington: the expansion of the resort’s Meeting and Entertainment Center. Construction is underway on an approximately 10,000-square-foot addition. Once complete in early 2024, the space will enhance the property’s ability to attract large-scale business and entertainment events, potentially drawing more visitors and economic opportunities to the area.
“We are excited about building on the Meeting and Entertainment Center’s reputation as a marquee venue in the Pacific Northwest,” said Kara Fox-LaRose, president and general manager of Ilani. “Timed to follow the opening of the new luxury Ilani Hotel, this expansion will enable Ilani to offer area businesses and guests more reasons to plan their visits, organize events and extend their stays.”
The latest phase in the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s master plan, the addition to the Meeting and Entertainment Center is situated on the northeast side of the property. The expansion will add to the existing 30,000-square-foot center, with nearly half the new square footage dedicated to conference space alone.
Located at the casino level, the enhanced conference area will include six 1,000-square-foot divisible rooms as well as a pre-function space of more than 3,000 square feet. Additional features include a board room, terrace, restrooms and an enclosed smoking area featuring 48 games. Below ground, Ilani is adding 4,300 square feet of office space to accommodate its ever-growing staff.
“The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has been connected to this land and its stewardship since time immemorial,” said Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. “This Meeting and Entertainment Center expansion will be a boon to the Tribe and our neighboring communities, as we anticipate the demand for space and the associated business activity to only increase.”
The venue has drawn national headlining acts since opening in 2018, and the expansion will help attract not only top-tier entertainment but also a wide variety of trade shows, private events and conferences with the potential to bring new economic opportunities to the region.
The expansion is made possible, in part, by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s partnership with Mohegan, a master developer and operator of integrated entertainment resorts.
Located on the Cowlitz Reservation in Ridgefield, Washington, Ilani is developed by the Cowlitz Tribe and Salishan-Mohegan, a partnership that includes Mohegan Sun. With nearly 400,000 total square feet, Ilani includes more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space, 18 different restaurants, bars and retail outlets and a 2,500-seat meeting and entertainment venue hosting nationally recognized performances. For more information, visit ilaniresort.com.