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Angel of the Winds adds locally made beer with 84,000 square foot expansion

ARLINGTON — More than 400 people braved the slushy roads Dec. 28 to attend the grand opening celebration at the Stillaguamish Tribe's Angel of the Winds Casino. The $44 million expansion added more than 84,000 square feet to the original casino, located two miles east of I-5 at exit 210 north of Arlington.

"We had 300 people waiting in the expansion and another 100 outside," said the director of marketing, Eric Larsen.

"Sean Yanity gave blankets to the local firefighters and talked about the history of the property," Larsen added.

Along with more than 1,000 new slot machines, more table games, a gift shop and a full-service restaurant and lounge called The Watershed Restaurant & Lounge, Angel of the Winds also launched it's own line of beer, Angel's Ale, produced just down the road a ways at Skookum Brewery.

"We approached them more than a year ago, even before they started their building project," said Ron Walcher, brewmaster of Skookum.

"Then they called us asking for a proprietary brew, special for the casino."

Walcher said he created an amber ale with two malts (honey and carmel) and dry hops, for a lighter beer than what he usually creates at his Arlington brewery.

"We're not the only microbrew by any means, but we're the only one made special for the casino."

Angel's Ale joins about 12 other beers on tap, Walcher said.

"It took us a month to do a 300-gallon batch," he added.

The full-service restaurant offers breakfast, lunch and dinner to compliment the faster food at Kate's Kitchen, according to the general manager of the casino, Travis O’Neil, who said the casino's payroll will now exceed $12,000,000 annually due to the expansion, which doubles the casino's number of full time employees to more than 600.

With the opening of the new addition, the original section will be closed for two months for a freshening up after four years of service, O'Neil said. In March, more new facilities will include a new poker room, Keno lounge and an outdoor dining terrace.

Known for its 99 cent menu, Angel of the Winds is located at 3438 Stoluckquamish Lane, off 35th Ave. NE between 236th Street and Kackman Road.

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