Tribe buys up land near desired casino site

MEDFORD, Ore. — The Native American tribe looking to open a Medford casino is buying up property next door to its desired south Medford location.

The Coquille tribe is buying property along Highway 99 in south Medford, it now owns 13 acres along the east side of Highway 99.

The new land was purchased in the past few months after the Coquille previously bought Roxy Ann Lanes and the old Kim’s Restaurant in 2012.

The tribe said they still hope to open a class 2 or slot-based casino, but the size and scope of the project is still being determined.

“Right now we’re beginning the process to build a master plan for the whole area,” said Director of Communications for Tribal1 Ray Doerring, “so that we can take a look at what the market is, what people like, what would be good for Medford.”

There’s still a lengthy federal process before a Medford casino could be approved and built.

If it were to happen, it would be the Coquille tribe’s second. It owns and operates the Mill Casino in North Bend where it’s headquartered.

“Whatever we do with this plan we’re gonna try to keep with our larger goal for the property,” Doerring said, “which is to try and convert this into a entertainment destination for Medford and for the region.”

Cow Creek Tribe CEO Michael Rondeua reponded to the Medford Mail-Tribune’s article titled: “Tribe Doubles Down on Casino

This project has been suspect from the start. The Coquille, in their own words, said they wanted a “small facility” but now we know they lied.  Their vision for an off-reservation casino in Medford is anything but small and if approved would establish a mega casino the size of those in Las Vegas—45 acres is double the size of any casino in Oregon—opening the gates to more of its kind up across the state without any consent from the Oregonians who live here.

The Coquille have tried to circumvent federal law that requires the Governor’s approval and now we know why. Oregon voters have rejected the expansion of casinos, supporting one casino per Tribe on reservation land – and if approved the voice of Oregonians will be ignored and an explosion of casinos will cascade across the state.The people of Medford – and all Oregonians – should be alarmed. This one project will forever change our landscape, paving the path for Las Vegas size developments throughout Oregon, all without any consent or voice from the people who live here. Once this gate is opened, it will never be closed.

The Coquille tribe says they have several dozen members currently living in Jackson County.

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