Snoqualmie Casino CEO hints at possible hotel

Brian Decorah was invited to talk about the fiscal impact the casino has on the local communtiy.

Could a hotel be in the cards at Snoqualmie Casino? Snoqualmie Casino CEO Brian Decorah said it’s a possibility during a recent presentation to the Issaquah Chamber of Commerce.

When asked about the potential for hotel development, Decorah, CEO of the casino since January 2018, said his past experience running hotels was one of the reasons he was hired for his current position, and noted there have been serious discussions regarding the possibility of a hotel. The casino has just completed a hotel-focused feasibility study, he said, and they are now looking at the infrastructure elements of possible development.

He didn’t have anything to announce during the Oct. 11 chamber luncheon, but he did say the hotel project has strong potential of becoming a reality.

During his presentation, Decorah mostly spoke about the fiscal impact the Snoqualmie Casino has on the local economy.

Decorah highlighted his work with local businesses in the Snoqualmie Valley and Issaquah areas. In the past nine months, he said, the casino has spent about $7 million with local vendors in North Bend, Snoqualmie and Issaquah.

And during the past eight months, the casino has spent $8 million with Washington-based construction and design firms for renovation efforts.

Much of the casino’s spending goes toward slot machines, table games, dice and cards, he said. Those purchases aren’t being made locally, but the casino does business with many service vendors such as dry cleaning for uniforms, window washers, and others. The casino prefers to do business with local vendors whenever possible, he said.

Decorah said the casino spends about $45-50 million a year in payroll, and he takes pride that many employees are local residents.

“When you look at what that means for a community, they are all local based, they live within a commutable distance. There is a recycling effect,” he said. “That multiplier effect we look at in the gaming industry perspective is that for every dollar of local payroll on an annual basis you will see a $1.42 in economic growth.”

Decorah hopes to hold a vendor fair at the casino — an event he has held in the past during his work at other casinos throughout the country.

Charity work by the Snoqualmie Tribe also was a talking point. Recently, the tribe donated $1.4 million to the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance and donated another $1.9 million to the Recovery Cafe for Gambling Addiction.

Decorah showed the luncheon attendees a recent news story by KING 5 on the casino’s active shooter training day. In order to promote awareness and safety for staff, the casino hired Nashville-based company Tomahawk Strategic Solutions, founded by former Navy Seals, to conduct the training. As a large business that attracts two million people each year, Decorah said it is important to make sure the staff is as prepared as possible to address any dangerous situations, should they occur.

At the end of his presentation, Decorah was asked to clarify if hotel development is in the casino’s future.