Meeting & Entertainment Center expansion gets underway with latest groundbreaking at ilani

New business, event opportunities anticipated, as approximately 10,000-square-foot addition grows facility by nearly 70%

RIDGEFIELD, WA. (Feb. 17, 2023) –  A new phase of development has broken ground at ilani: the expansion of the Meeting & Entertainment Center. On Tuesday, Feb. 14, construction got underway on an approximately 10,000-square-foot addition. Once complete in early 2024, the space will enhance the property’s ability to attract large-scale business and entertainment events, potentially drawing more visitors and economic opportunities to the area.

“We are excited about building on the Meeting & Entertainment Center’s reputation as a marquee venue in the Pacific Northwest,” said Kara Fox-LaRose, president and general manager of ilani. “Timed to follow the opening of the new luxury ilani Hotel, this expansion will enable ilani to offer area businesses and guests more reasons to plan their visits, organize events and extend their stays.”

The latest phase in the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s master plan, the addition to the Meeting & Entertainment Center is situated on the northeast side of the property. The expansion will add to the existing 30,000-square-foot center, with nearly half the new real estate dedicated to conference space alone.

Located at the casino level, the enhanced conference area will include six 1,000-square-foot, readily divisible rooms as well as a pre-function space spanning more than 3,000 square feet. Additional features include a board room, terrace, restrooms and an enclosed smoking area featuring 48 games. Below ground, ilani is adding 4,300 square feet of office space to accommodate its ever-growing staff.

“The Cowlitz Indian Tribe has been connected to this land and its stewardship since time immemorial,” said Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairwoman Patty Kinswa-Gaiser. “This Meeting & Entertainment Center expansion will be a boon to the Tribe and our neighboring communities, as we anticipate the demand for space and the associated business activity to only increase.”

The venue has drawn national headliners since opening in 2018, and the expansion will not only help attract top-tier entertainment but also a wide variety of trade shows, private events and conferences with the potential to bring new economic opportunities to the region. The expansion is made possible, in part, by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe’s partnership with Mohegan, a master developer and operator of integrated entertainment resorts.

“This ceremony of the Meeting & Entertainment Center marks just another exciting moment for all of us, and for Indian Country as a whole,” said Dave Martinelli, Chief Marketing Officer of Mohegan. “As this expansion breaks ground, it means we are one step closer to enhancing the overall ilani experience for our guests here. For nearly six years, ilani has provided top-notch gaming, dining, live performances, and meetings – emerging as the region’s premier entertainment destination.”

The Meeting & Entertainment Center expansion was designed by LRS Architects, and the general contractor for its construction is Swinerton.

Located on the Cowlitz Reservation in Ridgefield, Washington, ilani, developed by the Cowlitz Tribe and Salishan-Mohegan, a partnership that includes Mohegan Sun, one of the world’s foremost gaming and entertainment developers and operators, is the Pacific Northwest’s premier gaming, dining, entertainment and meeting destination. With nearly 400,000 total square feet, ilani includes more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space with nearly 3,000 slots and 75 gaming tables; 18 different restaurants, bars and retail outlets; and a 2,500-seat meeting and entertainment venue hosting nationally recognized performances. For more information, visit and follow ilani on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


The Cowlitz Indian Tribe is a growing force in community building in the Pacific Northwest. The Cowlitz Reservation neighbors Ridgefield, Washington, and is home to ilani, the Pacific Northwest’s premier gaming, dining, meeting, and entertainment destination. The mission of the Cowlitz Indian Tribe is to preserve and honor the legacy of its elders and ancestors by empowering a tribal community that promotes social justice and economic well-being, secures aboriginal lands, respects culture and sovereignty, and fosters justice, freedom, and mutual welfare. More information can be found at


Mohegan is the owner, developer and manager of premier entertainment resorts in the United States, Canada, and Northern Asia. Mohegan’s U.S. operations include resorts in Connecticut, Washington, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Nevada; Canadian operations are based in Niagara Falls; and Mohegan Inspire is located in Incheon, South Korea. The brand’s iGaming division, Mohegan Digital, provides cutting-edge online gaming solutions to Mohegan’s loyal fan base and meets the digital needs of customers on a global scale.  Mohegan is owner and operator of Connecticut Sun, a professional basketball team in the WNBA. For more information on Mohegan and its properties, please visit

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