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Squaxin Island Tribe Breaks Ground on New Course in Washington State


The Squaxin Island Indian Tribe has started work on a new course next to its Little Creek Casino Resort in Shelton, Wash. Salish Cliffs Golf Club – which honors its Indian heritage and describes a prevailing course feature, is a Gene Bates design. The course will be owned and operated by the tribe.

Upon completion in summer of 2008, Salish Cliffs will be the first completely Indian tribe-owned and operated golf club in the state. The facility will include an 18-hole course featuring rock facings and elevation changes of up to 200 feet on more than 240 acres. The site is located north of Olympia on Highway 101.

Salish is an Indian word which essentially means “The People,” and it refers to the Squaxin Island Tribe as well as other tribes indigenous to the Pacific Northwest.

“It is imperative that Salish Cliffs honor the Squaxin Island Tribe and the land and we’re confident that Gene Bates has designed a course that will, combined with our commitment to the tribe’s heritage and Mother Earth, result in an environmentally sensitive, beautiful course that both challenges and delights golfers of all skill level,” said CEO Boon.

“Adding Salish Cliffs Golf Club continues our mission to offer top-line amenities for our casino guests and comes on the heels of opening our brand-new Skookum Creek Event Center next month.”

"Concerts at the Creek" is going to be exciting in 2006 thanks to Little Creek Casino Resort’s new Skookum Creek Event Center. The new center seats 2,000 and will debut with legendary comedian Bill Cosby headlining on July 15th.

Bates, who designed the nationally acclaimed Circling Raven Golf Club in the Idaho Panhandle, was named “Golf Course Architect of the Year” in 2005 by BoardRoom Magazine, in part for his work in part at Circling Raven.

“Gene Bates is arguably the hottest architect in the country right now, and certainly the most underrated,” said Boon. “Each of the past four years he has had one of his designs be named a ‘best new’ course by national magazines like Golf and Golf Digest, and we expect Salish Cliffs to continue his run of outstanding courses. We’re certainly sparing no expense to achieve greatness.”

Bates’ initial routing plan calls for five sets of tees and par-5s to begin and end the round. Salish Cliffs will be Bates’ first design in Washington, where many residents are familiar with his work at Circling Raven – ranked as Idaho’s No. 1 public course by Golf Digest Magazine.

“I am very excited for Salish Cliffs to begin construction,” said Bates. “The Squaxin Island Tribe has a wonderful piece of land and great vision for their property. We believe that together we have come up with a course that will be highly regarded by golfers and nature-lovers.”

Other well-known Bates tracks include Twin Bridges GC in Gadsden, Ala., and SouthWood GC in Tallahassee, Fla., where he collaborated with Seattle native Fred Couples. (Couples is not involved with Salish Cliffs.) Twin Bridges, SouthWood and Circling Raven garnered best-new status upon opening by multiple national golf publications.

About Little Creek Casino Resort

Little Creek Casino Resort is a Native American enterprise. Owned and operated by the Squaxin Island Tribe, Little Creek’s hotel currently features 92 guest rooms and will expand to a projected 200 next year. The casino features table games of all types – from poker to blackjack and virtually everything in between – as well as more than 600 slots.

Top-quality, live entertainment – comedy, music and other attractions – is featured at Little Creek Casino Resort’s "Concerts at the Creek" in the new Skookum Creek Event Center, which debuts July 15 with legendary Bill Cosby doing the honors. Other upcoming concerts include B.B. King, the Salmon Fest featuring Terri Clark, Huey Lewis and The News, and Jo Dee Messina. Business and other events from 25 to 2,000 can be accommodated at the events center as well. For more information about Little Creek Casino Resort, call 800/667-7711 or visit www.little-creek.com.