Nation | Tribe: Coquille Indian Tribe
2355 South Pacific Highway
Medford, OR 97501
The Coquille Tribe plans to build a casino named 'The Cedars at Bear Creek' in the southern part of Medford on Highway 99. The U.S. The casino plan is currently under review for approval by the U.S.Bureau of Indian Affairs.
The Coquille Indian Tribe wants to build a a 30,000-square-foot casino in Medford, Oregon and name it "The Cedars at Bear Creek". The location would be in the southern part of Medford along the east side of Highway 99.
The Medford casino would be the second casino owned by the Coquille Indian Tribe. The Tribe owns and operates The Mill Casino Hotel in North Bend, Oregon.
In 2012 the Tribe purchased Roxy Ann Bowling Lanes and the old Kim's Restaurant which totals 2.42 acres. This land acquisition was submitted to the U.S. Interior Department to determine if it qualifies as a building site for a tribal casino.
In 2017 the Interior Department found the Tribe has the right to build a casino on that land once it is transferred into federal trust.
The Coquille tribe then formally applied to the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to place the land into federal trust for the purpose of building a casino. This is a multi-step process that takes years for a final decision. The application is currently under review.
Renderings of The Cedars at Bear Creek
The Coquille Tribe plans to build the Medford casino on a 2.42-acre parcel located on South Pacific Highway adjacent to Interstate-5. The location is the existing Roxy Ann Lanes at 2375 S Pacific Highway. The tribe plans to remodel the bowling alley and add new construction for gaming space to host 650 electronic gaming machines.
The following images illustrate the construction plan. The top picture is Roxy Ann Lanes today and the bottom picture is the new casino named 'The Cedars at Bear Creek' with a northwestern theme.
The tribe also owns the existing hotel next door, the Compass Hotel Medford by Margaritaville at 2399 South Pacific Highway.
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The Medford casino will offer Class II gambling as defined by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Class II games are played against other players and not the house.
The Coquille Tribe's gaming compact with the state currently has no limit on the number of Class II gaming machines the tribe can operate.
650 electronic gaming machines (Class II)
No card games
Additional eating venues TBA
To be announced
Compass Hotel Medford by Margaritaville
2399 S Pacific Hwy, Medford, OR 97501
Compass Hotel Medford by Margaritaville - Opened in 2022
May 4, 2023
Gov. Tina Kotek does not support the plan of the Coquille Tribe to build a tribal casino in Medford. In early April the Governor issued a letter to all Oregon gaming tribes to announce her opposition to opening any new casino in the state.[No Ads]
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is expected to make a final decision on the Medford casino proposal within the next few months.
"We're continuing forward, and this 12-year NNEPA process that has taken much longer than it should have. It doesn't impact our progress or our position on the project at all."
- Brenda Meade, Tribal Chair
The Coquille Tribe says the governor and state do not have approval nor oversight authority over Class II casino gaming per the U.S. Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.
The Tribe has proposed Class II gaming in Medford, using bingo-based slot machines where players bet against a player pool instead of the house. Class III gaming is Vegas-style slots and table games, which requires a compact agreement with the state.
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March 9, 2023
The Coquille Tribe has renewed its efforts to open a casino in Medford, Oregon, after fighting earlier opposition from Governor Brown, the Cow Creek Tribe, and the federal government. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) rejected the tribe's proposal in 2020. However, with a new president and administration, the Coquille Tribe reapplied for a Medford casino.
During the past year the BIA has prepared a 250-page Draft Environmental Impact Statement and souoght public comments on its findings. Those comments were collected from November 25, 2022 to February 23, 2023. They will now be incorporated into a final Environmental Impact Statement to be published later this year.
Since the proposed casino gaming is Class II rather than Class III, the final decision of the BIA will supersede the jurisdiction of the local and state governments. However, the BIA considers local inputs in its decision.
Since 2013 the City of Medford had officially opposed the casino. However, last week the City Council passed a resolution to change its position to neutrality on the issue.[No Ads]
The following news videos summarize the recent public responses to the casino proposal over the past six weeks.[No Ads]
June 15, 2020
The Medford casino project is dead. The Coquille Indian Tribe, which owns The Mill Casino Hotel in North Bend, had plans to build a second casino in Medford to be named The Cedars at Bear Creek.
Planning began in 2012 and proceeded with filing an application filed with the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to transfer 2.42 acres of land in south Medford into federal trust for the purpose of building a Class II gaming casino.
On May 27 Coquille tribal leaders received letter of rejection from the BIA. The letter was written by the principal deputy assistant secretary for Indian Affairs, John Tahsuda, who explained the application for the Medford casino is denied.
Coquille Tribal Chairman Brenda Meade was upset by the decision and said:
"By ending the normal, fact-based process for making trust land decisions, Tahsuda has silenced the many people in the community who are supporting our efforts. He also is denying our local officials the opportunity to express their growing appreciation for the tribe's work in the community and their interest in pursuing economic development on this property. They all were promised that their voices would be heard every step of the way."
The Coquille Tribal Council will consider the options and decide what steps the tribe should take next.
February 20, 2019
The Coquille Indian Tribe plans to build a casino in Medford on the 2.42-acre site of the Roxy Ann Lanes, which it bought in 2012 for $1.6 million. Since that initial purchase, the Tribe has bought or leased additional land around it.
The land now leased or owned by the tribe is about 45 acres. It includes a quarter-mile of frontage along South Pacific Highway.
Plans have not been announced for these properties and will not be finalized until the federal government announces its decision on the Tribe's application to place the original 2.42 acres into federal trust for the purpose of building a casino.
November 04, 2013
Oregon senators, Jeff Merkley and Ron Wyden, have contacted Washington DC in hopes of stopping the Medford Casino project.
The proposed project would allow for the Coquille Indian Tribe to build a casino where currently there is a bowling alley. Tribe, as of now, has a casino in North Bend. This would be their second casino if approved.
Currently there are nine casino in the state. Each of the nine casino are owned by a separate tribe.
The two senators have set a letter the U.S. Department of Interior. The letter was addressed the assistant secretary of Indian Affairs, Kevin Washburn. It was expressed in the letter that the proposed casino is being opposed. Support of the opposition also includes commissioners of Jackson County. As well as Gov. John Kitzhaber.
September 24, 2013
Much opposition has been given to the proposed Medford casino. The Coquille Indian Tribe wants to open an additional casino. This has many speaking out against it.
As of now there are nine casinos in Oregon. All of them are tribal owned. At North Bend, on Central Oregon's coast, the Coquille own their casino. They want to transform a bowling alley in Medford into their second casino location.
The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Indians own a casino north of Medford. Their fear is the new casino would hurt their business.
Medford is 165 miles away from the Coquille casino in North Bend. The U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs has been asked by the tribe to put property in Medford into a land trust. If approved the Medford property would be considered part of the tribe's reservation land. Therefore allowing for the development of a casino.
Currently the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 allows for tribes to developed casinos in locations where they choose. On September 19 there was a hearing by a congressional panel about the proposed casino location. It was advised that certain portions of the gaming act should be rewritten to discourage tribes from being able to build casino so far from their tribal land.
April 23, 2013
This week there is a meeting planned between local officials and the Coquille tribe. The meeting is to discuss the tribe's proposed casino project in Medford.
The Coquille plan to use a Medford bowling alley that was purchased as the building location. The Secretary of Interior has also been notified that the tribe would like to place the land into trust. If the casino project is approved, they will operate 600 gaming machines.
It was agreed upon by the governor and by the state's tribes that they would each operate one casino on their reservations. Casinos would not be approved if built off of tribal land.
If the Coquille receive their approval, this will be the second casino for the tribe. Currently the tribe operates the Mill Casino.
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