Adam Spencer, The Triplicate

'We don't have something like this'

Del Norte County's first and only full-service hotel will soon be open for business.

The 71-room Lucky 7 Hotel in Smith River will not be taking paying customers until July, but local Chamber of Commerce members received a sneak preview last week at the new three-story facility.

"I think the rooms are absolutely gorgeous. I love the woodwork and everything; it's quality work," said Karen Yarberry, of Crescent City, after touring some of the suites. There are three two-room "double suites" and eight "junior suites" with two king beds.

The woodwork was completed by local business Dave Kettlewell Cabinets and Woodworking. In fact, besides the contractors for the pool, elevator and geothermal system, almost all of the sub-contractors were local, as well as the general contractor: Bommelyn-Hartley Construction. Hand-made wood furniture in the rooms was made by Wood Castle Furniture in Albany, Ore.

"We were so fortunate to be able to buy a lot of our goods locally, in America. That's hard, but we did it," said Smith River Rancheria Chairwoman Kara Brundin-Miller during a mixer event for the Crescent City-Del Norte and Brookings chambers of commerce.

Chamber members were treated to hors d'oeuvres made by the casino's new House of Howonquet restaurant manager, George Rhodes, who is also the chef at Art Alley Grille in Brookings.

Hotel guests will be treated to complimentary breakfast from the House of Howonquet, as well as free wifi and access to the hotel's UV-treated swimming pool (less chlorine on the skin), hot tub, and fitness center. The entire hotel is non-smoking and the air in the facility will be circulated every half hour.

The $10 million hotel project is the last phase of a four-part $25 million expansion project for Lucky 7 Hotel and Casino. The hotel will provide 35 new permanent jobs, including many for the full-service amenities: valet parking, bell service for luggage, and room service.

"It's been worth the wait," said Chris Lanum, of Crescent City, who's been eagerly watching as construction has progressed since last summer. "I can't wait to have a New Year's party here."

That party should be possible since Smith River Rancheria officials expect to start taking reservations for stays on or after July 6, and possibly take walk-in guests as early as July 1.

Nightly room rates will range from $120 to $250.

"It's very impressive for Del Norte County, because we don't have something like this," Yarberry said.

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