Silver Reef launches $29 million expansion

Now in its 10th year of operation, the Silver Reef Hotel Casino Spa is about to launch a $29 million expansion that will include a new event center, a theater, a Mexican-themed restaurant and room for more gaming machines.

The 50,000-square-foot addition will bring the total footprint of the facility to around 130,000 square feet. The new event center, with nearly 1,200 seats, will be nearly three times larger than the current space, said Aaron Thomas, director of marketing for Silver Reef.

“We’ll be able to offer more seats for our headline entertainment than we’ve ever had in the past,” he said. “It is going to be the premiere event space in Whatcom County.”

The casino will be adding 225 new machines, bringing the total gaming machine count to 1,200, four times the number since the casino’s opening in 2002. More parking will be added to accommodate additional vehicle traffic, including more than 300 paved parking spaces along Haxton Way and adjacent to the current parking lot.

“Even in the height of my optimism ten years ago, I did not imagine that Silver Reef would evolve into such an amazing facility,” General Manager and COO Harlan G. Oppenheim said in a press release.

Engineering will take several months, with completion expected by spring 2013. Silver Reef has teamed up with MBA Architecture, ID3 Design Solutions and Aecon Buildings, the same project team that has been successful in previous expansion projects.

“The Lummi Nation is very excited about bringing much needed meeting space to the greater Whatcom County business leaders, as well as bigger event space for more live entertainment,” Cliff Cultee, Lummi Indian Business Council chairman, said in the release.

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