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The Semiahmoo Hotel in Blaine said it’s closing on Dec. 1 and laying off 224 workers, a harsh blow to the economy of Whatcom County.

Opened 25 years ago, the 198-room hotel is a top-rated venue for destination weddings and one of Washington state’s larger full-service resorts. Its two golf courses will continue operations under the hotel’s current owner, Semiahmoo Resort Company.

The hotel hasn’t recovered from the sharp plunge in group sales it saw during the recession, said Harold Chesnin, an attorney for the Upper Skagit Indian Tribe, which is the majority owner of the resort. The tribe has unsuccessfully searched for a buyer to takeover the hotel.

“It’s just gotten to the point that that’s not going to allow us to continue the operation of the hotel,” Chesnin said Wednesday.

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Sanjay Bhatt: 206-464-3103 or On Twitter @sbhatt

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