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TACOMA, WA-The Puyallup Tribe of Indians will break ground in the next few weeks for a $200-million casino hotel adjacent Interstate 5 near the Tacoma Dome. In so doing, it will also break new ground in world of Indian casino development by becoming the first tribe to develop a casino resort in the heart of a major metropolitan area.

Unlike Las Vegas, the hotel will be small, only 79 rooms, as most of its business is expected to be regional in scope. The casino itself will be Vegas-like in size, however, with a 2.5-acre gambling floor.

Additionally, it will generate exponentially more in profit than existing casinos in the state, which are generally smaller and on more rural reservation land. The Puyallup Tribes’ two existing casinos each generate profit in the $100 million range, while the new casino next to Interstate 5, where 177,000 drivers pass on a daily basis, is projected to generate profits between $200 million and $300 million.

The casino will be built on 28 acres once occupied by the tribal headquarters and bingo hall. It will replace the tribe’s Emerald Queen Casino on the Tideflats. In addition to the casino and hotel, the development will include a one-acre man-made lake with water features and a 3,000-car parking complex. Tribal officials are also studying a possible dedicated off-ramp from I-5 as well as a connection to the city’s new light rail line.

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