Peninsula Daily News
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PORT ANGELES — Today marks five years since the Lower Elwha Klallam tribe opened Elwha River Casino, and tribal and casino officials have a celebration lined up to mark the anniversary.
The 7,000-square-foot casino at 631 Stratton Road is honoring the occasion starting at 6 p.m. tonight with tribal dancers, a seafood buffet and fireworks.
Rena Barkley, marketing manager for the casino, said the dinner is limited to 200 people, and formal invitations were sent out to leaders from other area tribes and to platinum members of the casino's Paddle Rewards Club.
“But there will be lots to do. We're not going to turn anybody away,” Barkley said.
The Elwha Klallam Dance Group will provide entertainment during dinner, and members of the Tribal Council will speak about the casino before a fireworks display at 9 p.m. tonight.
Frances Charles, chairwoman of the Lower Elwha Tribal Council, said the casino has provided benefits to both the tribe and the surrounding community.
“I think we have more than 50 people working there now,” she said.
“And not all of them are tribal, so that's a big part of the economic development of our whole community.”
Revenue from the casino is used to augment the tribe's programs for children and elders, said Charles.
In addition to funding after-school programs, the tribe also uses revenue from the casino to fund tutors in public schools in Port Angeles and Joyce.
The Elwha River Casino is open from 10 a.m. to midnight Sundays through Thursdays, and 10 a.m. to 2 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays.