Tribe’s long-awaited 310,000-square-foot entertainment center opens with COVID-19 precautions
The Puyallup Tribe’s new Emerald Queen Casino at 2920 East R St. in Tacoma will open June 8. The day will begin with a prayer and opening ceremony at 9 a.m. After the ceremony, the casino’s doors will open exclusively for Tribal members. At noon, it will open to the general public. The casino took years to plan and build. “We want to thank our staff and predecessors on Council for their perseverance. They’ve worked hard to make this dream an amazing reality,” said Tribal Council, the Tribe’s governing body.
COVID-19 safety measures will be in place Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Tribal Council temporarily shut down its Fife and Tacoma Emerald Queen Casino locations out of concern for public safety, beginning at midnight March 16. The new casino, built to replace the Tacoma operation, was to have opened for the first time in late March.
With the new opening date, safety measures will be similar to those enacted when the Emerald Queen Casino’s Fife location opened May 18. They include limiting attendance, temperature scans upon entry, frequent surface sanitization by the casino’s “Clean Team,” and the requirement of face coverings for guests and staff members.
Fine dining restaurant and Tribal artwork among casino’s features The $400 million, 310,000-square-foot facility features five restaurants including a small cafe, a fine dining restaurant, a buffet, a coffee shop, and a sports bar, though COVID-19 restrictions will initially be in place. Along with all of the glitz and glamour of a Las Vegas-style casino, the building features traditional and contemporary Coast Salish artwork and architectural elements designed by Puyallup tribal members.
The building replaced the Tacoma I-5 casino, which was a former bingo hall with three large adjoining tents. The Fife location remain open.
The building was designed by Cuningham Group Architecture, with general contractor Absher-Kitchell overseeing construction. The Wenaha Group is serving as the owner’s representative.
A 12-story, 170-room hotel is under construction next to the casino, and is scheduled to be finished this summer.
Get there faster with free shuttle service To help mitigate potential traffic issues, the Tribe is offering free shuttle service to the new location from EQC in Fife. Overflow parking with free shuttle service also will be available at the nearby former EQC I-5 Tacoma location off East 32nd Street. (Please see traffic and parking maps for information).
About the Puyallup Tribe of Indians The Puyallup People have lived along the shores of what is now called Puget Sound since time immemorial. The Puyallup Tribe of Indians is a sovereign nation of more than 5,000 members and one of the largest employers in Pierce County. It serves its people and neighbors with generosity and is committed to building a sustainable way of life for future generations. Learn more about the Puyallup Tribe.
About the Puyallup Tribal Council The Puyallup Tribal Council is the elected governing body of the Puyallup Tribe of Indians. The council consists of Chairman David Z. Bean, Vice Chairman Bill Sterud, Sylvia Miller, Tim Reynon, Annette Bryan, James Rideout and Anna Bean.