Casino resorts for the Suquamish, Tulalip and Quinault tribes celebrate Native American culture through museum-quality artwork, and their orientation to Northwest natural wonders.
Towering wood-carved female and male figures welcomed us at the entry. Inside, suspended from the ceiling, an enormous woven Salish fish-gathering basket and canoe dominated the Great Room, an area serving as lobby, breakfast room and gallery for its collection of woodcarvings, glass sculpture, weavings and paintings. Each piece seems to tell a part of the story of the Suquamish people (whose name means "clear saltwater") and their culture. Self-guided tours are a snap; explanations of the work are provided.
Tulalip Resort Casino
From the Gallery Lounge to the side of the Tulalip Casino Resort's vast main lobby, I watched a toddler wobble toward the massive trio of "story poles" at the entry of this mega-resort, north of Seattle, that this summer added a hotel. Squealing, arms outstretched, he fell suddenly silent as he gazed toward the ceiling, taking in the symbols carved out of what was once a towering red cedar.
While he admired the images on the poles (also called "house posts") representing welcome, storytelling and game-playing, I explored the displays of Coast Salish art—woven baskets, carvings and paintings—that fill cases and decorate the walls of this warmed-by-the-fireplace quiet spot. It was so peaceful that it didn't seem possible an enormous casino was just down the hall.