Michael Andretti, a car made of cake, and a grand opening at ilani

Resort officially opens six-story parking garage

It is all about making history at ilani.

The casino in Ridgefield announced that it helped break two Guinness World Records in an unusual way to celebrate the opening of his six-story parking structure.

It’s all about speed in the race world, and Michael Andretti showed up to drive a car 17.08 miles per hour down the ramp of the structure.

17 mph?

A car?

Oh, did we mention it was an edible car?

Before it was “disassembled,” legendary race car driver Michael Andretti drove a cake car down the ramp at the new parking garage at ilani casino, setting two Guinness World Records. Photo courtesy ilani
Before it was “disassembled,” legendary race car driver Michael Andretti drove a cake car down the ramp at the new parking garage at ilani casino, setting two Guinness World Records. Photo courtesy ilani

Yes, world champion driver Michael Andretti drove a 669-pound cake car (and 91 percent of it was edible) to the record achievements: Fastest edible car and the longest distance covered by an edible car at 349.81 feet. The design was a replica of Andretti’s 1991 IndyCar National Championship race car.

“I’ve driven a lot of vehicles, and this was by far one of the most unique,” Andretti said via press release. “What a great way to showcase this new state-of-the-art parking facility.”

Celebrity cake artist Mike Elder and race car driver Michael Andretti celebrate their Guinness World Records after they helped ilani open its parking garage with record-breaking speed performances in a cake car. Yes, a cake car. Photo courtesy ilani
Celebrity cake artist Mike Elder and race car driver Michael Andretti celebrate their Guinness World Records after they helped ilani open its parking garage with record-breaking speed performances in a cake car. Yes, a cake car. Photo courtesy ilani

The cake car was designed, baked, and built by celebrity cake artist Mike Elder of Black Sheep Custom Cakes.

The casino donated more than 500 pounds of the cake car to Share Vancouver, a local nonprofit that helps feed the hungry and homeless. 

The surface parking lots at ilani are often near capacity. The new garage will allow ilani to host bigger events during peak times on the weekends. It will also support planned future expansions. Late in 2020, ilani announced its plans for a hotel on property.

“The parking garage is a testament to the ever-increasing attraction of ilani and a further showcase of the tribe’s commitment to the community,” said Cowlitz Indian Tribe Chairman Philip Harju. “We believe the future holds more opportunity for growth, and this garage … will help us accomodate more visitors and more activity for years to come.”

The six-story parking garage at ilani has been in operation for weeks but it is now officially open after the casino asked Michael Andretti to race a cake car down the ramp. Photo courtesy ilani
The six-story parking garage at ilani has been in operation for weeks but it is now officially open after the casino asked Michael Andretti to race a cake car down the ramp. Photo courtesy ilani

The garage includes and LED park-assist system to help guests navigate the structure. The system shows how many spaces are available on each level. Complimentary electric charging stations are also available. 

Among the safety features, there are more than 1,400 surveillance cameras installed in the garage.

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About The Author

Paul Valencia joins ClarkCountyToday.com after more than two decades of newspaper experience. He became the face of high school sports coverage in Clark County during his 17 years at The Columbian. Before moving to Vancouver, Paul worked at Oregon daily newspapers in Pendleton, Roseburg, and Salem. A graduate of David Douglas High School in Portland, Paul enlisted in the U.S. Army, serving three years as a soldier/journalist. He and his wife Jenny recently celebrated their 20th anniversary. They have a son who has a passion for karate and Minecraft. Paul’s hobbies include: Watching the Raiders play football, reading about the Raiders playing football, and waiting to watch and read about the Raiders playing football.

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