My husband and I like to gamble and when he learned that his 50th class reunion would be held in Spokane we had a reason to visit the remodeled Northern Quest Resort and Casino.
We’d gambled there when it was just a casino but this would be the first time that we would be able to stay in the new resort that opened its doors on Dec. 31, 2009.
With 250 hotel rooms, including 22 suites, we figured there would be ‘room at the inn’ to accommodate us. Not to mention the fact that the casino boasted 14 distinct restaurants, bars, lounges and night clubs for the enjoyment of their guests.
The casino is run by the Kalispel Indians and provides economic advancement for the Kalispel tribe as well as the entire Spokane region.
A Heritage Hallway connects the lobby to the casino, and when we walked down it we saw displays of Kalispel artifacts and images. (I was awed by the intricate beaded work on a baby’s cradle, and the old photos were fascinating as well.)
The lobby decorated in an “urban lodge” style is truly beautiful without being ostentatious. There is a long square TV opposite the check in desk with changing scenes, (My favorite was the Indian tee pee in the snow) and on one end of the lobby is a giant blown-glass cattails and crystal chandelier. The cattails are characteristic of the tribe’s reservation on the Pend Oreille River.
After we checked in we went up to our room. My first impression was one of open space, clean lines and dark wood furnishings. The king size bed had a pillow-top mattress; plush duvets and 350 thread count linens.
I saw 42 flat panel HDTV, as well as complimentary wireless internet access and cordless phones.
As I sat on the bed I thought, heck I don’t need to leave my room I’ve got all the entertainment I need right here.
We had come to gamble and were anxious to check out the 2,000 slot machines. As we took the elevator downstairs, we decided to eat before we started to play. (If we wait until later, it might be too late too late for the restaurant we heard so much about, called Masselow’s.)
My sister had eaten at Masselow’s a week before and it came highly recommended.
After the waiter greeted us warmly, he took our wine order and then left us to mull over the menu.
A few minutes later he returned with a little Indian canoe with three marshmallow size pieces of fry bread inside.
(Since I had no open fire to toast them, I decided to eat them. I spread them with the accompanying huckleberry jam and they were wonderful.)
We ordered the bruchetta for an appetizer and for the main course we decided on a split order of salmon.
The bruchetta arrived a few minutes after our wine. I was a bit disappointed in the house made mozzarella cheese (I felt it a bit rubbery) and the tomatoes did not seem to have much flavor.
But then again, I was comparing it to the Brushetta we get in Italian restaurants, and maybe something (flavor) was lost in the translation.
The wild salmon, however, was superb. It was not over-cooked, and the seasoning was just right. The white truffle Duchess potatoes were to die for, and the green salad was very good.
We decided to forego the dessert, and just enjoy our wine. I asked the waiter if he would be so kind as to take our picture to commemorate the event, and he said he would be happy to.
After the meal we headed for the casino.
Slots Not So Hot
We played for several hours, but didn’t win anything significant.
The machines were not ‘user friendly’ and decided to withhold their favors (bonuses and jackpots) from us during our visit.
Some people were winning, and my story might have been different on another night and so I won’t blame the casino for my bad luck.
But there would be one improvement (if it were left to me) that I’d make. I don’t like the fact that I have to use color coded tickets to play different machines.
(For example my red ticket I was putting in “King Cheetah” would not ‘go’ into “Kitty Glitter” which required a ‘blue’ ticket.)
Sometimes my ticket would not be accepted in a machine just a few feet away.
If Kitty Glitter could talk
If Kitty Glitter could talk the white Persian might say, (“Sorry, at the risk of being politically incorrect, you are the ‘wrong’ color to play me.”)
If I wanted to change my luck and go to a different machine, I would either have to cash out (and put my money directly in the bill receptors of the machine I wanted to play) or just remain in the area that took my ticket (and my money) and soldier on.
In spite of the fact that we didn’t do very well gambling, we ‘hit the jack pot’ by just staying there.
The Kalispel’s take well-deserved pride in their casino, and make it a point to see that their customers have an unforgettable experience.
In an article in “Indian Gaming Magazine,” Kent Caputo, COO of the Kalispel Tribal Economic Authority, put its this way: “The resort’s goal is to over-deliver on service in all departments, so that guests will look forward to coming back.” .
I would say that the Northwest Quest Resort and Casino has met that goal.
Now, about those different colored tickets…..