ilani ready to offer small, limited-ticket events such as Oktoberfest

A Wine and Food Fest dinner series event in the plans this month, as well

RIDGEFIELD — Oktoberfest is coming to ilani on Oct. 8.

A small, but safe, Oktoberfest.

So, too, is a little bit of the Wine and Food Fest. 

Again, a small gathering. A safe gathering.

And it is a start.

Oktoberfest Celebration, a small gathering with limited ticket sales, will be held Oct. 8 at ilani Casino. Photo courtesy ilani
Oktoberfest Celebration, a small gathering with limited ticket sales, will be held Oct. 8 at ilani Casino. Photo courtesy ilani

Oktoberfest Celebration at Muze Lounge, presented by Sierra Nevada and Merchant Du Vin, is the first ticketed event at ilani since the reopening of the resort in May. The casino closed early in the pandemic. New safety protocols were launched when Ilani reopened, but there have been no concerts or other large gatherings.

This will be a small gathering, as well. Tickets will be limited and tables are for two or four people from the same household.

“We’re excited to be able to provide a safe way to celebrate Oktoberfest, which as you know is so popular in the Pacific Northwest,” said Tom Teesdale, vice-president of marketing at ilani.

And on Oct. 21, there will be an ilani Wine and Food Fest dinner series event, in partnership with Willamette Valley Vineyards, at the Rose and Thorn Restaurant.

With the same protocols: Limited tickets available to ensure social distancing.

Ilani is celebrating because it is a start. A restart, if you will.

“It is something to experience and something to look forward to,” Teesdale said. “Folks need opportunities to celebrate. They need some relief from the heavy burdens that many are carrying right now. Celebrate being together. Celebrate that we’re all safe.”

Tickets for the Oktoberfest are $89.50 and that includes a ticket to the 2021 Wine and Food Fest Sunday grand tasting. 

There are six entree platters on the menu, along with 10 accompaniments, seven desserts, and a half-dozen beer selections, celebrating local brews. 

Teesdale said he will be making a beeline for the fresh baked pretzels and beer cheese dip.

The Muze, the location for the Oktoberfest, is a large lounge and bar, and the bar is surrounded by plexiglass to ensure safety for guests and team members.

There is also signage throughout ilani reminding guests to “mask before you ask.” Even in dining areas, guests are asked to put on their masks prior to talking with team members.

Teesdale noted that when ilani reopened, it required masks, and this was before the state mandate. He noted that the Cowlitz Tribe has invested more than a million dollars into safety.

“We have been referred to by many as an example of how to reopen and maintain safety protocols while operating a business,” Teesdale said. 

Still, Teesdale said, there is no timetable for the return of larger events or concerts. The casino will continue to work with state and local health officials, he said.