parametrix inspired people blog

Kalispel Tribe’s Northern Quest Resort Expansion: An Innovative Nod to Tribe’s Rich Cultural History

Mark Aronson | 11-16-2018

In 2016, the Kalispel Tribe began planning for a major economic expansion of the Northern Quest Resort. This year, the innovative project which incorporates aspects of the Tribe’s rich cultural history, broke ground.

Plaza Plan

Plaza Plan

Parametrix was selected by the Tribe to provide various services including planning, design, and construction services.

Plaza Amphitheater

Plaza Amphitheater

One of the projects included in the expansion was a new 1.25-acre plaza in the profile of the iconic Kalispel Tribe sturgeon-nose canoe as a new gateway and entry focal point. The design emphasizes elements of walkable communities such as on-street parking and narrow streets which are new additions to the Tribe’s design language. The plan also included new entertainment facilities, building expansions, an apartment complex, and an RV Park.  New infrastructure including roadways, all major utilities, and a lift station upgrade were designed to meet the new and future needs of the resort expansion.

Tules in the Plaza

Tules in the Plaza

The Kalispel Tribe’s mission includes providing quality family entertainment through their business model. This resort expansion offers entertainment options to attract families, that may or may not be interested in gaming.

Parametrix has partnered with the Kalispel Tribe for over 10 years on various projects, dating back to when Parametrix’s Spokane office was Taylor Engineering. For this project, the Tribe needed a consultant that could be involved in a complex project from the planning stage through design. One of the challenges of this project was providing construction services on a fast-track while allowing the 4-diamond, 4-star resort to continue its high-quality service and hospitality to its guests.

A high level of innovation was necessary to keep the resort functioning while undertaking a huge construction effort at the front door. The West Plains area, home of the Northern Quest Resort, is best known for two things – significant winds and vast areas of basalt rock. The project required extensive blasting. Creativity was required to ensure resort guest safety and to keep the guest experience positive. Continued effort was required during construction for cleanup and erosion control to keep airborne particles to a minimum.

Along with standard civil engineering and landscape design, our team understood the importance of sharing the Kalispel history, the impact the project has on creating jobs and education for tribal members, and the shared vision of improving our community.

Project Team

Parametrix Project Team: Frank Ide, Tom Jordan, Darren Sandeno, Mark Aronson, Karl Stirling, Marcus Helm, Gavin Fuhlendorf

Not pictured: Susan Devine, Andrea Nice, Alex Sylvain, Dylan Bailey, Zach Johnson