Casino operations to go smoke free amid health concerns
RIDGEFIELD – After much research and consideration, ilani Casino has decided to ban smoking until further notice due to the increased rate of infection in the region and continued uncertainty regarding the COVID-19 virus. The smoking ban began July 11.
ilani’s officials stated their mission has “always been to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Cowlitz Tribe, guests, team members, partners and stakeholders, as well as maintaining a commitment to operational excellence.’’
“It’s the right time, and it’s the right thing to do for our team members, our guests, the Cowlitz Tribe and our entire community,” said Cowlitz Tribe Chairman William Iyall. “The health of our members, and indeed that of everyone who is a guest of our homeland, is our first concern.”
“ilani moved early to voluntarily become 100 percent mask-mandatory prior to the state mandate, and now, the right next step is to create a smoke-free environment that is healthy and welcoming for all,” said Kara Fox-LaRose, ilani president and general manager. “For our team members and our guests, whose wellbeing is our first priority, we are passionate about making ilani a hospitable place to work and visit for gaming, entertainment, dining and more.”
Shortly after reopening, ilani invested in an outdoor environment adjacent to the Meeting & Entertainment Center for guests who wish to smoke on the premises, which offers beverage service and lawn games and boasts views of Mt. St. Helens. ilani team members who wish to smoke will continue to have access to covered, designated outdoor smoking areas.
“Enforcing the wearing of masks in a smoking environment is difficult, but ultimately we are concerned about the health of our team and our guests,” Iyall said. “When we looked at the issue through the lens of protecting the health of our community during this difficult time, there really was no other choice.”