MADRAS, OR --The Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs is building a 13,000-square foot travel center in Madras. The Plateau Travel Plaza will eventually include a convenience store, restaurant, gas station, laundry, showers and room for 70 semi trucks.
Indian Head Casino General Manager Jeff Carstensen is overseeing construction and development of the multi-million dollar project. "We’re trying to get another source of revenue, instead of just all of the tribal members; and the land was available. We’re trying to expand our horizons." In fact, The land near the Madras Airport has been owned by the tribe for about 40 years. Carstensen tells KBND News, "That used to be where they housed – they would transport all the mill stuff out on the railroad tracks, in the ‘70s and ‘80s. There was a building on it before, a warehouse-type thing, but we tore that down last year."
He says the idea has been in the works for several years and was developed around the huge need for more places in Madras for big rigs to park. "That little Shell station is where a lot of truckers park. But, if you run through Madras, especially in the wintertime, it’s always full and they’re parking all over town. Hopefully, we can add some amenities and get more of them to stop up there." Carstensen adds, "The city was very thrilled that we’re trying to do this because of all the parking and everything that happens with all of the truckers that come through. It’s like 1,100-1,500 trucks come through Madras every day, between [Highways] 26 and 97."
According to Carstensen, it will – in a way – be an extension of Indian Head Casino. The Plateau Travel Plaza will also feature Class II slot machines and club members will be able to use their points at both locations.