Casino attracts thousands of Tri-Citians annually
The 7,000 people who hop aboard the free shuttle buses in the Tri-Cities to travel to Legends Casino in Toppenish each year won’t have to rush back home that same day.
They now have the option of staying overnight with the opening of a six-story, 200-room hotel and conference center.
“There’s a lot going on in the area with agritourism,” said Letisha Peterson, general manager of Legends Casino and Hotel. She said many travelers weigh the costs of a Vegas vacation against a more affordable staycation, and believes it’s a “good time for us” to open the hotel.
Peterson, who has worked at Legends for 14 years, grew up in Toppenish and is a member of the Yakama Nation.
She said the hotel prides itself on honoring tribal culture and pointed to the artwork in the hotel’s rooms and lobby featuring historical Yakama Nation photographs, as well as the huckleberry-scented soaps and shampoos. The huckleberry has been valued by tribal people for centuries.
The Legends Hotel, which opened Feb. 25, features valet parking, WiFi, an indoor pool and hot tub, and a fitness center, and soon will open a mini museum featuring items from the Yakama Nation Museum.
The hotel is offering a $99 introductory room rate over the next few months. Hotel officials could not provide a price range for the rooms after the special expires.
The 11 Cedar and six Huckleberry suites are named after culturally important items to the Yakama Nation. They feature 52-inch HDTVs, king-size beds in separate rooms and soaking tubs. The grandest guest room, the Celilo Suite, features more than 800 square feet of space with a dining area to seat eight, as well as a catering kitchen. It connects with a conference room.
Pet-friendly rooms are available on the first floor.
Free shuttle buses leave from the Tri-Cities to the casino seven days a week from the Pasco Walmart, Kennewick Sports Authority, Richland Community Center and Benton City Conoco.
The construction of the hotel anchors a $90 million Legends campus expansion.
The expansion, expected to be completed later this year, is expected to add 200 new jobs to the current work force of 745 employees, Peterson said.
When completed, the casino’s gaming floor will be expanded by more than 50,000 square feet. The casino features nearly 1,500 of the newest, most popular slots with 18 tables for guests who prefer blackjack, Spanish 21, roulette or craps. Keno and a poker room also are available.
The newly revamped Legends Rewards Club offers special offers and discounts. About half of the club’s members are from the Tri-Cities.
Improvements to the Legends buffet also were part of the expansion project. Seating was expanded from 230 to 375 seats.
With the expansion of the buffet, additional stations can be offered — including Mexican, Italian, American and salads — in addition to the theme of the day.
Lucky Shots espresso bar also was expanded for those seeking a specialty drink or baked goods.
Because the casino and hotel are on the Yakama Nation reservation, no alcohol is served. Smoking is allowed inside the casino in designated areas. Peterson said the expansion project also is expected to improve air quality.
The project’s architect is Bergman, Walls and Associates of Las Vegas.
Seattle-based Swinerton Builders is the general contractor for the project. As part of the casino’s ongoing commitment to support economic development in the local community, RJS Construction, based in Zillah, joined the expansion project as well.
Grants benefit Tri-Cities
Legends Casino awarded almost $30,000 in grants throughout the Tri-Cities in 2016 to nonprofits like the YMCA, Pet Over Population Prevention and the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation as part of its Yakama Cares program. The casino donates 2 percent from some of its table games to this community impact fund and distributes the money each May.
The contributions have increased annually since the program started in 2008. Additionally, grants awarded in the Tri-City area have increased each year as well. Tri-City nonprofits are encouraged to apply for this year’s grant distribution. The deadline is Friday, March 31. To apply, visit legendscasino.com/community.
For More Information:
For more information about the casino and hotel, call 877-7-COME-11 or visit legendscasino.com.