On December 20th, 2007, the chances seem to be growing against the possibility of a casino facility in Columbia George during the time of Dirk Kempthorne as the interior secretary. The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs have been conceptualizing the idea of a casino and resort since 1998 at Cascade Locks.
Their spokesperson says that they might begin construction of the casino within 18 months if Kempthorne would give his go signal regarding the environmental impact statement. The planned casino facility is a forty five minute drive from Portland along Interstate 84 and would replace the casino on the reservation located in Central Oregon. But Kempthorne has criticized off-reservation casino facilities when he was a governor of Idaho and has shown no willingness that he will give his blessings with the Warm Springs proposal.
A lobbyist in Washington D.C. for the tribes, Michael Anderson said that in Idaho, Kempthorne blocked a tribe from constructing a casino 200 miles from their reservation. Anderson said that sometimes it really comes down to the personality of a person. Although Gov. Ted Kulongoski has supported the project, the Grand Ronde Tribe, which manages the Spirit Mountain Casino is prepared to spend at least $5 million to fight casinos that are off-reservation.
01/16/2008 08:02 PM