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Mortenson Construction Helps Make the Tulalip Tribes’ Vision a Reality with
the On-time Completion of the $130 million Expansion of Tulalip Resort
Casino in Washington State

Bellevue, Wash. (Sept. 4, 2008) – Mortenson Construction is proud to announce the on-time completion of the $130 million expansion of Tulalip Resort Casino, which added a luxury 12-story, 370-guestroom hotel to the existing Mortenson-built casino that opened in 2003.  Located 40 miles north of Seattle, Wash., the new Tulalip Resort Casino includes premier meeting, convention and wedding spaces, as well as an elegant and earth-inspired spa. 

Exterior Tulalip Resort Casino

Mortenson's John Nowoj and
Brett Sisco in the Lobby

“The Tulalip Tribes sought to bring the sophistication of a grand Las Vegas hotel to the Pacific Northwest, creating not only a premier gaming destination but also a destination for fine dining, relaxation and fun,” said Mortenson Vice President and Seattle General Manager, Jim Yowan.  “Mortenson aimed to support this vision by building a luxury product from the ground up using the most premium materials.  The impressive end result is sure to amaze all those who visit.” 

To honor the local heritage, Mortenson worked with Tulalip Resort Casino executives and Tulalip Tribes members to incorporate more than $1 million of authentic artwork throughout the hotel.  As guests enter the lobby they will be greeted by three 24-foot tall hand carved cedar welcome figure totem poles and a 19’ x 6’ mosaic mural consisting of 1,200 hand-cut, etched and blown pieces of glass located behind the front desk.  These pieces had to be installed prior to the completion of the lobby due to their massive size.  Mortenson put the artists through a safety orientation process in order to grant them free range to safely help with the installation and put finishing touches on their pieces while other construction teams were working around them. 

“We have been extremely pleased with our working relationship with Mortenson Construction,” said Kenneth Kettler, president and COO of Tulalip Resort Casino. “Together, we’ve been able to make the Tulalip Tribes’ vision a reality and we’re all proud to share this beautiful resort with our guests.”

To complete the expansion that would place 10 acres under one roof, Mortenson created extensive 3D and 4D digital models of the hotel additions early on in the planning process.  This helped to resolve numerous potential construction challenges (350 total) well in advance of the issuance of paper drawings and allowed Mortenson to pour concrete just two days after receiving the final paper drawings.  The use of 3D and 4D models helped save Mortenson one month in the schedule.

The massive expansion of Tulalip Resort Casino also included the use of:

  • 15,500 cubic yards of concrete
  • 360 miles of power wiring
  • 95 miles of low voltage cabling
  • 150 types of lights totaling over 14,000 light fixtures
  • 67,500 square yards of wall paper with 75 different kinds of wall coverings
  • More than 3,115 fire sprinkler heads 
A leader in safety, Mortenson and Tulalip Resort Casino executives worked closely with the local Marysville Fire District to build a relationship of safety not only during construction, but for future guests of the hotel as well.  Mortenson hosted tours of the building at various stages of construction and multiple members of the Marysville Fire District team participated in Life & Safety Final Inspections, a two week period where various tests were performed and filmed to be used for training purposes by the fire district.  Rescue teams were also given the opportunity to practice high-angle rescues by repelling down the side of the 12 story building before construction was complete.   

Situated on 83 acres, the new Tulalip Resort Casino includes numerous specialty suites, such as the 3,000 square-foot Tulalip Suite, designed to accommodate any level of corporate entertaining; the 2,000 square-foot Player’s Suite with a professional size pool table, dart board, arcade games and professional sporting memorabilia; the Technology Suite offering guests leading-edge hotel and entertainment technology; and two Asian-themed suites designed on the principles of feng shui with a Northwest flare.  All standard rooms at the hotel boast granite counters, dark African wenge-wood trim, 47-inch flat-screen TVs, iPod docks, sleek triple-headed showers and floor-to-ceiling windows.  Tribal artists Joe Gobin and James Madison incorporate symbolic images of salmons, eagles, water and the transformations between the spirit and human worlds in various elements of the hotel, such as the carpets, wall sconces and prints.  

The new Tulalip Resort Casino also features: 30,000 square feet of meeting and reception space; Oasis Pool featuring a large staircase leading to the pool and lush garden foliage; T Spa, an elegant, 14,000 square-foot, full-service spa offering an earth-inspired menu of services, along with fitness classes for the body and mind; six dining options, headlined by Tulalip Bay, where Chef Dean Shinagawa incorporates flavors of the islands with the finest Northwest products to create an exceptional dining experience, and featuring an intimate wine room lit by a handcrafted chandelier by world renowned glass artist Dale Chihuly; and Mpulse Lounge, a lively cocktail bar located adjacent to the new high limit gaming area created for the resort. 

For more information about Tulalip Resort Casino, visit the Web site at or call 888-272-1111.

About Mortenson Construction

Since 1982, Mortenson Construction has provided diversified construction services offering customer-centric general contracting, construction management, design-build, program management, project development and "turn-key" development in Seattle.  Mortenson continually strives for solutions that improve processes, increase efficiency and streamline workflows, with its key pillars - ingenuity, expertise and exceptional people - acting as the foundation of the Mortenson Experience.  Mortenson has built nearly 200 projects valued at more than $3.3 billion. Clients include: the Tulalip Tribes, Alaska Airlines, the University of Washington, City of Seattle, City of Tacoma, Snohomish County, Providence Hospital, Group Health, among others.  A few of Mortenson's awards include: Washington CEO's Best Companies to Work For; Puget Sound Business Journal's Washington's Best Workplaces; and multiple American Institute of Architects Technology-BIM awards. For more information, please visit


Kim Jones
(206) 682-6979

Also See: The $130 million Tulalip Resort Hotel Set to Open 40 Miles North of Seattle; Expects to Compete with the Glamorous Vegas Casino Hotels / June 2008


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