The Cascades Casino Hotel and Convention Centre will add two more restaurants and more space for gaming and special events to the Langley City facility, located in the 20300 block of Fraser Highway.
Langley City council unanimously approved a development permit for the 23,000 square foot expansion Monday night following a presentation by the senior project manager, Leon Viger, who said roughly 100 full- and part-time jobs will be created.
The two-storey addition will be built on the south side of the casino where it faces Fraser Highway, in the location where taxis and motorcycles currently park.
Plans call for an upscale “Atlas” steak and seafood restaurant, with a smaller casual “Chow” dining spot along with an additional gaming area and washrooms on the ground floor.
A roof patio and special occasion area will go upstairs.
Viger said the expanded gaming space will make the casino playing floor about 10 per cent roomier, but there are currently no plans to add more slots and table games.
Viger said the roof would include a raised garden so Atlas can grow its own herbs and some vegetables.
The current Match and buffet restaurants will remain.
The expansion will mean the loss of about 35 parking spaces, but Viger said what is left should be “more than plenty adequate.”
In fact, the casino will still “maintain a large parking surplus above City requirements,” stated a report by Gerald Minchuk, the City’s director of Development Services and Economic Development.
“The building addition substitutes an attractive and animated façade and roof patio for a mostly blank wall, improving the casino’s engagement with Fraser Highway and the downtown core beyond,” the Minchuk report added.
Councillors gave the project an enthusiastic reception, with comments like “exciting” by Coun. Rudy Storteboom, “beautiful” by councillor Gayle Martin and “refreshing” by Coun. Nathan Pachal, who suggested the casino could use the project to upgrade the pedestrian entry sidewalk from Fraser Highway with better lighting.
Mayor Ted Schaffer called it a “catalyst for more revitalization” of the downtown core.
“(It) really dresses it up,” agreed Councillor Paul Albrecht.
“I’m seeing more Vegas here and I like it,” Councillor Val van den Broek said.
“I think it’s great,” Coun. Jack Arnold said.
Construction is expected to start by the spring of 2017.