Posted by Charles Rehberg on May 22, 2017
North Notes
Spokane North Rotary Club Bulletin
May 22, 2017
          No Monday meetings:  With the Memorial Day next week, club members will not meet May 29.  Also, with the Dine Out Spokane for Kids fund drive event on Wednesday, June 7, the club will not officially meet June 5.  However, fund
Coordinator Robbie Jackson and President Nancy Hanson will welcome others available about noon to help stage auction items and fill basket gifts for the June 7 evening.
RV park, other amenities due at Northern Quest
          Kid-friendly attractions and cottage-style “tiny homes” for recreation vacationers are in the plans for Northern Quest Casino expansions.
          Brandon Haugen, general manager for development at the Kalispel Indian Northern Quest, outlined the new plans at the luncheon’s May 22.
          Haugen also helps oversees the adjacent gas stations, food carts and related items, like laundering the Providence Medical Centers hospital linens.  “If there is a stain on a sheet, let me know,” he quipped.
         “We were impacted,” Haugen said of the Airway Heights issues involving decades of foam-fouled water wells and pumps near the Fairchild Air Force Base.  Some restaurants closed for a few days, but “the city of Spokane did a good job getting water back to the area,” he said.     
          Northern Quest has 400 acres in the casino and hotel area, Haugen said.  Breaking ground next month is a “premium RV park” with some 1,800 small cottages for amenities to hook-up with rec vehicles.  The common will area include swimming pools and dog parks, among other items. Haugen said some 24 employees will work on the site and visitors can rent golf carts to drive to a trail for concerts, restaurants and the casino.  The RV is set to open in June 2018.
          Also planned at Northern Quest is a Kid Quest, which Haugen describes as a family-friendly activity center for various games and parties.  “It’s like a much improved, controlled  Chuck E. Cheese” restaurant,” he said.  The 14,000 square-foot center will register and monitor children and youngsters while the adults can go to concerts, dinners and the casino, he said.
          Another planned store is “Windfall,” a 13,000 square-foot seasonal goods emporium, including clothing, outdoor recreation items, sporting goods and fine gifts and jewelry.
          Other plans include some housing nearby, “creating a suburban district for some of the people who live there,” Haugen said.
          The Kalispel Country Club – the once-bankrupt former Spokane Country Club – “is not (profitably) in the black yet,” but is working to continue with improving its “consumer experience,” he said.   The Aurora Northwest Rotary Club recently relocated to the country club site.
          Haugen, who said he is 25 percent Kalispel by birth, said “I lived on the reservation (near Usk, Wash.) for a while, so I’ve seen both sides (urban and rural) of the area.”
          He said some 2,000 employees work at the Northern Quest complex with about half of the 400 Kalispel tribe working there and 15-20 percent Native American workers there.
          In response to a question, Haugen said “the other casino” (the Spokane Tribe) has cleared two approvals, but some issues remain about the second casino, to be located closer to FAFB.  He added that “most tribes are inter-related” in the area.
The bulletin producers:
         Bulletin editors: Chuck Rehberg and Sandy Fink
         Photo: Eric Johnson
         Program coordinator: Brad Stark