On September 21, 2002, the Casino of the Rockies (COR) first opened it’s doors to the public. The St. Eugene Golf Course had already been open for 2 years, however the hotel was not yet in operation. At the time of opening, the Casino of the Rockies was owned by, and became the 5th casino to operate under the Lake City Casinos umbrella, and many of our original staff came to us from the Okanagan. As an aside, the lounge inside the Casino was originally to be named, “Sam’s Saloon”, however in the days leading up to the opening, the Founder of Lake City Casinos, Mr. Fred Glasgow, passed away, and the name was changed to, “Fred’s Saloon” to honour the matriarch. It was an exciting time for the newly hired staff, overseeing the construction of the new casino while participating in operations and departmental training. Finally, the much anticipated day arrived, the doors opened and the Casino was soon filled to capacity with folks wishing to see and play inside the new facility. To this day, we still retain 8 employees that have been with us since, “Day 1” in addition to BCLC Senior Technician, Wendy, who also has been with us since the beginning. Thank you, Dave, Trinda, Dale, Grace, Gina, Tom, Shelley and John for your years of service and loyalty.
In 2006, the Casino changed ownership and became part of the St. Eugene Golf Resort & Casino, which is currently owned by a partnership of three First Nations, the Ktunaxa Nation, Chippewas of Rama First Nation and Samson Cree Nation. The COR is the only casino in British Columbia that is Aboriginal owned and operated. There have been many changes throughout the years, firstly when the Casino opened there was no alcohol service allowed on the gaming floor and patrons were allowed to smoke in a designated area right beside Fred’s Saloon. Our Casino was also the test site for a new loyalty rewards program being launched by BCLC – and our customers were the first to be issued a, “BC Gold”, (now BC Encore) club card! Back in 2002, our slot machines accepted coins – yes, real coins! Shortly thereafter the machines began to accept only tokens, then finally switched to a “ticket-in-ticket-out” voucher system which is still in effect today.
The Casino has donated to many worthy causes throughout the past 13 years, making quarterly, “Found Money” donations to such non-profit organizations as:
- Kootenay Air Search & Rescue
- Cranbrook District Community Foundation
- United Way of Cranbrook & Kimberley
- Cranbrook Salvation Army
- Friends of Fort Steele Society
- Order of Civil Aviation Search & Rescue Association
- East Kootenay SPCA
- Abreast in the Rockies Dragon Boat Association
- BC Special Olympics – Cranbrook & Kimberley Local
- Cranbrook Food Bank Society
- St. Eugene Church Restoration Fund
- MS Society of Canada
- Scleroderma Association of BC
- Joseph Creek Freedom Trust Pedestrian Bridge Project
- BC Professional Firefighter’s Burn Unit
The Casino Rockies Team invites you to join us today, as we celebrate thirteen years of gaming entertainment in the Kootenay Rockies!