Wright admits this is a dream come true for him, the tribe and everyone he works with.
“I don’t think anybody in the Northwest has been able to put together a facility like this,” he said, “with this much attention to detail and beauty. And, I mean from every every step through this facility, it continues to change significantly. And it’s laid out in a fashion that allows people to flow through the facility without feeling like they are lost.”
Wright, even though he’s walked through it countless times, still marvels at the lights, interior design, even the kitchen, much larger than the original riverboat version, which could serve 10,000 meals a day.
The new one could handle 25,000 meals on a busy day, Wright estimated.
“And now everyone can do their jobs in comfort,” he said. “Everything’s new. The coolers are all labeled, so you don’t mix food items. And every cooler temperature is recorded,” with digital displays on the front.
A separate room is just for produce prep, to avoid any risk of cross-contamination.
The facility plans to add more than 200 jobs, eventually employing an estimated 2,450, including current workers who will transfer to the new site.
The tribe estimates the new casino and operations will add $1.5 billion to the local economy over the next decade.
They’re hiring now. Those seeking more information can check out employment information at emeraldqueen.com/careers/.
All of this helps solidify the tribe’s status as one of the top employers in Pierce County, along with additional jobs in its health authority, school, tribal administration, cancer center and cannabis operations. According to Bean, 66 percent of its workforce overall are non-native Washingtonians.
“We are taking care of not just our community but our citizens in our neighboring communities in paying competitive-wage jobs,” he added.
Wright agreed and noted its importance as an anchor, particularly for the Eastside.
“When you have a facility like this, it becomes a magnet,” he said, drawing other entities to open, such as fast food, gas stations, laundry cleaners, grocery stores. “They’ll start springing up because of this.”