Snoqualmie City Officals Struggle with Snoqualmie Tribe 20-Story Hillside Hotel Plan

According to Snoqualmie Mayor Matt Larson, it is customary to end Snoqualmie Valley Governments Association Dinners with respective mayors giving brief reports about what’s going on in their communities.

At the November dinner, hosted by the Snoqualmie Tribe in the Snoqualmie Casino’s Terra Vista Restaurant, Snoqulamie Tribe Administrator, Matt Mattson, dropped a surprise when he told the group of Valley leaders of the Tribe’s plans to build a 20-story hotel adjacent its casino on the rural Snoqualmie Valley hillside.

Photo courtesy of Snoqualmie Casino Facebook page

Mayor Larson says city officials have known for several year that the Snoqualmie Tribe intended to build a hotel by the casino, which is the largest employer in the valley. What the mayor says they never anticipated was that the hotel would be “a 20- story highrise up on a hill.”  Larson added that “Such a structure would be grossly out of character in the Valley.”

The Snoqualmie Tribe has not yet made a formal announcement of their plans, but given that Mattson stated during his meeting report that the intent was to begin construction this coming summer, it appears the plan is beyond the preliminary stages.

According to a Seattle Times story on the topic, the proposal “calls for a new 340-room hotel, conference center, larger casino and theater, and two new parking structures, with construction beginning as soon as next summer.”

One complicating factor in any planned casino expansion could be sewer services.  The City of Snoqualmie currently provides the sewer service for the casino, which would need a significant sewer capacity increase to build the new hotel and expand the casino.  Mayor Larson says that sewer capacity increase is equivalent to approximately 530 residential homes.

The City of Snoqualmie anticipates strong opposition to the 20-story hotel from within the community.  The mayor said he  also anticipates additional “strong opposition to the city playing any role that helps facilitate construction of such a structure.”

Snoqualmie’s leverage to encourage a “less impactful” hotel design could be limited, though, because although the Snoqualmie Tribe does contract with the city for firefighting and sewers services, it could choose to build its own sewer treatment facility on-site.  Such a move would be costly, though, according to Mayor Larson.

There is  also a height restriction of 5-stories on buildings within the City of Snoqualmie, but the casino sits just outside those limits in addition to the Snoqualmie Tribe making its own land-use decisions because it is a sovereign nation.

A city spoke spokesperson says the City of Snoqualmie and the Snoqualmie Tribe will be discussing this and other issues of concern.

Only time will tell the direction the Snoqualmie Tribe takes with its hotel expansion.  Can a 20-story hotel be placed on a rural hillside and fit in with the landscape?  The Snoqualmie Valley community will likely be weighing in on these future plans in the months ahead.

Have an opinion?  Leave a comment here.

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  • Maybe the city should have been more accommodating in the new roundabout by the falls? Nothing like poking someone with a stick and then asking them for a favor. Unfortunately the community will pay the price of a radically out of place 20 story building.

  • I almost fell off and gagged eating something while I was reading this.
    Let me teach you Casino Hotel 101 since you folks have NO idea what it takes to run a successful Casino and proper Hotel.
    Hotel to the Casino is just an amenity. You do not make millions just because you have Hotel right next to the Casino. Most Vegas hotels are just that an amenity to the Casino where all the comp stay is directed and you offer very low price for the hotel provided that you will gamble and loss enough money to set off the lose of the Hotel.
    For Casino hotel to succeed you must have a destination. Now Snoqualmie Casino with its reputation as money sucker from their Casino Guest isn’t going to stand a chance to be a destination.
    To build a 20 stories hotel you need a budgets in 100’s of millions. To recover, ROI (return on investment) you need to charge room rates that will equal to 4-5 star s hotel. Does Snoqualmie Casino have demographics and population density and destination attraction to over come ROI timing? ABSOLUTELY NOT.
    You have practically defunct casino that is not producing higher income that it should considering the rich neighbors (Bellevue, Issaquah, etc) with reputation as tightest ran Casino in the States (more like in nation) on the middle of nowhere North Band Washington. No destination attraction for people to come stay in the hotel paying hundreds of dollars and also loss their shirts and pants playing in the Casino.
    What this Casino qualifies at most is Quality Inn & Suite size tier hotel to provide cheap lodging and comp the guest.
    You guys simply have no idea how to run a Casino let along a Casino Hotel.
    You can build a nice hotel in the middle of lumber mill but that does not make you a destination nor will succeed you winning back people’s interest.
    You already lost that with running a Casino only works for you guys.
    Good Luck raising that money. LOL

  • Living Snoqualmie