Clark County has posted “stop work” orders on the project, but the tribe has ignored them, saying the county has no jurisdiction over the 152-acre Cowlitz Reservation. The tribe had hoped to hook up to the city of La Center’s sewage treatment plant, but because the casino lies just beyond the city’s urban growth boundary, the move is prohibited by county regulations.
Meanwhile, the county and others have been waging a court battle over whether the federal government should have granted the Cowlitz a reservation in the first place. Although a ruling in the case isn’t expected until this summer, the Cowlitz began building the casino early this year with the expectation the tribe will prevail.
Featuring a 100,000-square-foot gaming floor, meeting facilities and 15 different restaurants, bars and retail shops, the casino is scheduled to open sometime next year.