Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel

Celebrating culture and community in a unique venue
Written by: 
Jeanee Dudley
Produced by: 
James Logan

Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel (LEC) is a gaming venue and resort in Rochester, Wash. The local Chehalis Tribe established the casino in 1995, utilizing tribal land to bring in revenue and create jobs. The tribe hired John Setterstrom to serve as CEO of the operation. Setterstrom has a background in venue management and had been involved with operating and promoting several area casinos for years before signing on with LEC. He works with a staff of approximately 700, including Mary Fairbanks, director of guest services.

“Our work here is fun,” says Fairbanks, who has been on the team since late 2012. “I can’t see myself doing anything else. Our goal is to engage with guests and offer a family experience. People come here to spend their disposable income and their experience is very important to us. Our management bases decisions on values, striving to be the best employer while contributing to the community in a positive way.”

Getting lucky

The casino offers a wide variety of gaming entertainment. LEC’s floor boasts more than 1,000 slot machines, including popular favorites with cunning themes such as Rainbow Riches, Hot Shots and Coyote Moon. High rollers will find table games, including poker, blackjack, craps and roulette. A bingo hall is open Sunday through Thursday and Keno players can win as much as $50,000 on a single $1 bet.

After getting lucky at the casino, guests can grab a bite to eat or stop in for a drink at one of seven eateries on the premises. LEC’s Grand Buffet offers an award-winning assortment of all-you-can-eat foods daily for lunch and dinner. For guests looking for something a little more beefy, the Prime Rib & Steakhouse offers tasty cuts of steak, as well as seafood and salad. The steakhouse is open Wednesday through Sunday for dinner; Fairbanks recommends making a reservation. The Scatter Creek Grill offers tasty and affordable sandwiches, salads and snacks, accompanied by live music on the weekends.

Before retiring to a room for the evening, visitors may want to enjoy a nightcap at one of the two bars at the casino, the Silver Oak and Mainstreet Bar, both offering a full bar to unwind after a fun-filled evening at play. Guests can turn in for the night in one of many rooms and suites, which feature amenities such as Jacuzzis, balconies and free Wi-Fi. The indoor pool and hot tub are great for a morning swim or a long, hot soak to decompress.

A safe bet

Setterstrom, Fairbanks and the team are constantly working to offer more to visitors. “The things that set us apart are our happy team members, leading guest service and being up to date on technology and products,” Fairbanks explains. “Machines are our products and new games are one thing we constantly talk about. We are always introducing the newest versions of our machines. That is why our guests come here to gamble.”

The hospitality end of the operation is also in perpetual evolution. “We are constantly upgrading our hotel amenities and we are doing more to operate sustainably, such as changing up our laundry operations,” Fairbanks notes. “We do a lot in-house. Our food is all cooked here and we have a huge branding initiative for farm-to-fork dining right now. We are using more local food and we have an amazing chef on staff. We really like that we can serve honest fresh food and keep our community involved.” The Farm to Fork program has been a huge investment for the venue. To ensure the operation is successful, Setterstrom has brought in top consultants to work with the team.

In 2015, LEC will celebrate 20 years in operation. While the recent recession still has consumers cautious about spending, the staff has been able to keep the business growing. “What has helped the most is that we are committed to our mission statement,” says Fairbanks, “And that starts with hiring the right people to build a strong foundation. We want our team doing what they do best. We have a lot of fun and we strive to say yes to our guests while maintaining our fiscal responsibility to the company.”

Fairbanks and her colleagues come to work each day with the knowledge that they are walking into a respectful community atmosphere. Service is crucial to the business and the LEC team is better prepared to offer guest satisfaction because of this positive environment. Lucky Eagle Casino and Hotel embraces quality, integrity and guest service to provide an unforgettable experience for guests.

Strategic Partnership(s): 
Bally Gaming & Systems, Inc.
Egghart, LLC | CPAs