PORT ANGELES – 7 Cedars Casino CEO Jerry Allen presented gave members of the Port Angeles Regional Chamber of Commerce their first really good sense of what the tribe’s new hotel is going to look like, inside and out.
Allen brought along a slide show of designer renderings of Phase 1 of the 4-story project, now under construction just west of the casino.
The full scale of the expansion in Blyn is planned to be constructed in 4 or 5 phases, including conference facilities, spas, and other elements, but Allen explained that Phase 1 has a very specific marketing strategy.
“Phase one is really more adult-oriented. It’s really not meant to be child-oriented. It’s you know, it’s why you don’t see a pool, you don’t see those things because you really gotta understand the revenue-per-room, which I know a lot of people in this room do. The revenue-per-room’s the most important thing and you know, to fill this thing full of little league baseball teams and football, it’s not just…it’s not going to be your best model, right? So this is really uh, first phase is really adult-oriented.”
Allen says the room rates in the new hotel will be higher than we’re used to seeing in this region, and they intend to make it worth it by raising the bar in terms of service and accommodations.
He was asked about the challenge of finding the necessary workforce to operate a new hotel.
“We know that that’s going to be a challenge, you know for those housekeepers and porters and security. Sometimes that’s reflective of the room rates, but we’re going to have to do this. It’s not going to be easy. I don’t think anybody’s got an answer to it, you know, but it is what it is and we’re going to be headlong into it and we’ll attack it from all the things that we have, from the best benefit package we can, we’ve been doing 401K’s down there a long time. So we have to do that to be that kind of employer.”
Allen says they’re on-target to have a “soft opening” by May 1 next year. They’ll spend the first month or so ironing out the wrinkles of the operation by hosting Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe members, friends and employees, and expect to be open to the general public in early summer.
Above: Interior designs of rooms and lobby.
Banner picture: Existing casino on the left, new hotel design on the right.