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Casino planners, Grange reach deal


Capital Press

PORTLAND -- The National Grange and developers of a private casino reached an agreement Sept. 5 that will allow them to temporarily use the term "The Grange" until after the November election.

The deal is subject to the parties reaching a definitive agreement later this week.

Ed Luttrell, president of the National Grange, said the organization often must defend its trademark.

"In the past five years, there have been about 70 successful resolutions," he said. "Only one could not be settled outside of litigation."

This dispute was different, he said, because the trademark was used by casino proponents in an initiative campaign leading up to the general election.

Development proponents agreed to include a disclaimer on campaign materials that reference "The Grange" to ensure that voters understand there is no affiliation between the National Grange and the proposed entertainment destination or the two ballot measures necessary for it to move forward.

Measure 82 would amend the state constitution to authorize privately run casinos. Measure 83 would authorize a single privately run casino in Multnomah County.

The disclaimer reads: "Grange is a registered trademark owned by the National Grange. Past use of the term 'The Grange' was undertaken without the authorization or endorsement by or affiliation with the National Grange. The current use does not imply endorsement of Measures 82 and 83 by the National Grange."

"We recognize that in naming our destination that we should have consulted in advance with National Grange representatives, requesting permission to use the name," Jeff Parr, director of PDX Entertainment, the company proposing the development, said. "We did not. For this, we apologize to Grange members in Oregon and across America."

Luttrell said, "If both ballot measures pass and they come to us, we'll look at the merits of it and go from there."

A decision on allowing the use of the Grange trademark must come from the organization's national board, he said.

The resort plans include a casino, four-star hotel, performing arts venue, movie theater, water slide, farmers' market, bowling alley, swimming pool and a rooftop bar. The proposed $300 million private development is at the site of the defunct Multnomah Greyhound Park in Wood Village, which closed in 2004.

Developers said the resort will dedicate 25 percent of its revenues to help fund schools and other services. The development will create 3,000 jobs and require between 200 and 500 Oregon companies to provide materials, supplies and other support during the two-year construction phase.

In addition to construction jobs, the resort would create 2,000 permanent jobs.


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