Long-awaited plans for the Snoqualmie Tribe to build a casino off Interstate 90 were dealt a setback last week when its Arizona-based investors...

Share story

Long-awaited plans for the Snoqualmie Tribe to build a casino off Interstate 90 were dealt a setback last week when its Arizona-based investors filed for bankruptcy, tribe officials said yesterday.

If the U.S. Bankruptcy Court approves the filing, the tribe could find itself without a management company to build and operate the casino, said Matt Mattson, tribal administrator.

The recent action “just throws everybody for a loop,” Mattson said. The case involves a dispute between two businessmen, Jim Miller and Jerry Moyes, who were once partners but who are battling in court over which one legally owns the two companies investing in the casino, MGU and MGU Development. The state court in Arizona will review whether Thursday’s bankruptcy filing will affect the ownership case April 22.

“This is a personal business thing between them, and we’re like collateral damage,” Mattson said.

Most Read Stories

Unlimited Digital Access. $1 for 4 weeks.

Tom LeClaire, president of both companies, declined comment yesterday.

The tribe has been planning to build a 147,000-square-foot casino near North Bend for five years. Part of the holdup has to do with waiting for approval from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs to designate the 56-acre site as reservation land. The $70 million casino would create 700 jobs in the Snoqualmie Valley and could provide the economic fuel needed to make the tribe self-sufficient.

The tribe has a contract with both companies to pay for the development of the casino, Mattson said. If they don’t follow through, the tribe won’t look to other investors, Mattson said.

“If MGU can’t get its house in order, then the tribe would make an attempt [to run the casino] on its own,” he said.

Sonia Krishnan: 206-515-5546 or skrishnan@seattletimes.com