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Public Hearings Begin On Cascade Locks Casino

A series of public hearings begins Monday on a proposed resort and casino in Cascade Locks.

The project is being pushed by the Warm Springs tribe and if approved, would be Oregon’s first off-reservation casino. Pete Springer reports.

The proposed development could attract three million visitors annually to a town where the population is 1100.  

Opponents say the size and scale of the casino is too much and that it will harm the surrounding area, including nearby endangered salmon and steelhead runs.  

However, the Draft Environmental Impact Statement found the project would be “consistent” with the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Act since it would be built in an existing urban area.

Now both sides want to hear what the public thinks.

Jim Owens is with the consulting firm that is organizing the public hearings.  

Jim Owens: “We’ll also have court reporters in different parts of the meeting rooms where people could, if they don’t wish to testify in front of a group, they can individually give their statement to a court reporter.”

Public comments will also be accepted on comment cards and the web.

The first hearing is tonight in Warm Springs, followed in the next two weeks by meetings in Cascade Locks, Stevenson, Portland, and Hood River.

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