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Market and Financial Feasibility Analysis of a Casino

ECONorthwest analyzed the casino's potential to attract visitors and generate more revenues with a new location.

The Challenge

For sixteen years, Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Reservation (Tribes) have operated a casino at their resort in Warm Springs, Oregon. While the casino was profitable, it was located well off the state highway running through Warm Springs, and tribal members suspected the casino's location hindered growth. This affected the Tribes' ability to meet the social, infrastructure, and economic needs of its members. The Tribes asked ECONorthwest to find out if relocating the casino would improve matters.

The Results

To take advantage of the pace of traffic and existing utility infrastructure, proponents proposed the Tribes build the new casino right off the state highway running through Warm Springs. ECONorthwest conducted a market and financial feasibility study based upon a sophisticated gravity and traffic model, which forecast the expected numbers of visitors and revenues for the new casino's location. ECONorthwest's analysis showed that Tribes should build a casino, of a modest size commensurate with the location's potential, and to do so quickly.

The Tribes engaged Worth Group Architects to build a 20,000 square foot casino, along with adjoining retail stores, to be run by tribal members. Less than a year after the Tribal Council approved the proposal, the new Indian Head Casino opened. Within two months of its grand opening, the casino added 3,000 individuals to its players club and expanded its Central Oregon customer base. By mid-Summer, revenues at the casino were on track.

In the Press

What's Going Up? Indian Head Casino on Warm Springs reservation
The Bulletin. July 30, 2011. Jordan Novet.

Oregon Tribe Finds Economic Prosperity with New Casino
Casino Journal. May 15, 2012.

Indian Head Casino grand opening set
Madras Pioneer. February 22, 2012.

Warm Springs casino to open Feb. 4 on U.S. 26
The Oregonian. January 25, 2012.

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