Business

Stillaguamish Tribe breaks ground on new gas station

From left, Stillaguamish Tribal elders Janet Rapelde, Joyce Peterson, Cheryl Bray, Gloriana Tatro and David Allen relax after turning the first shovels of earth at the July 6 groundbreaking of the planned gas station at the Angel of the Winds Casino. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Stillaguamish Tribal elders Janet Rapelde, Joyce Peterson, Cheryl Bray, Gloriana Tatro and David Allen relax after turning the first shovels of earth at the July 6 groundbreaking of the planned gas station at the Angel of the Winds Casino.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

ARLINGTON — “We’ve been at a standstill,” said Koran Andrews, CEO of the Stillaguamish Tribal Enterprise Corporation. “But this is the first of many new programs by the Tribe, and we’re not stopping here.”

Andrews then presented golden shovels to more than half a dozen Stillaguamish Tribal elders on July 6, to break ground on a planned gas station at the Angel of the Winds Casino.

“I don’t think my grandparents anticipated that we would have come so far,” Andrews said in the southeast corner of the casino’s parking lot, where the gas station will be built. “I’m so excited to have been part of the team that’s accomplished this. It’s an expression of our sovereignty as a tribe, but it also allows us to serve the community.”

Travis O’Neil, general manager of the Angel of the Winds Casino, agreed that the gas station will allow the casino to extend another avenue of hospitality toward its guests, and praised Korsmo Construction as having been selected after careful consideration.

“With the price of fuel being top of mind for everyone, we will offer a competitively priced product and add another amenity to our property,” O’Neil said.

John Korsmo, president of Korsmo Construction, explained to attendees of the July 6 groundbreaking that their construction workers would begin digging the 16-foot-deep hole for the gas station’s two fuel tanks on July 11, and would continue working on the site every day until the gas station’s projected opening during the first few weeks of October.

“We’ll have four dispensers, so a total of eight pumps, under a covered canopy that will have the same look as the casino,” said Korsmo, who added that the gas station will provide unleaded, mid- and high-grade gas, as well as diesel.

Eric Larsen, director of marketing and house services for the casino, noted that talks on this gas station began in earnest close to nine months ago, which Andrews cited as evidence of the deliberation with which all parties proceeded.

“We pulled in folks from Natural Resources and Accounting and other departments,” Andrews said. “We made sure to study all the impacts before going ahead.”

According to Wayne Knoll, director of Korsmo’s Small Projects Division, this gas station will offer a new service feature that will give casino players even more of an incentive to stop by Angel of the Winds.

“There will be various rounds of discounting incorporated into fueling for players,” Knoll said. “In collaboration with the casino, the gas station’s software will interface with their rewards program. If you put your card into the dispenser, you’ll be able to pay with the points you’ve accumulated.”

 

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