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Ilani to open massive events center

Tom Teesdale, vice president of marketing, pauses for a photo as construction continues at the new Ilani Casino Resort events center.

Amanda Cowan, The Columbian

Some big entertainers in comedy, country and ’90s-style dance grooves are coming to Clark County to celebrate the opening of the Ilani Casino Resort‘s immense ballroom and event venue in April.

At 22,000 square feet, Ilani’s new Cowlitz Ballroom is shaping up to be the largest in Clark County. The nearest runner-up is the Heritage Ballroom at the Hilton Vancouver Washington, which is 14,074 square feet. Nothing else in Clark County comes close.

The Cowlitz Ballroom, which will accommodate 2,500 guests, is the centerpiece of a new 30,000-square-foot Meeting and Entertainment Center that’s being unveiled in April as part of Ilani’s first anniversary celebration. To fill that space with happy concertgoers and comedy lovers, Ilani has lined up some big names.

  • April 12: Triple-Grammy-winning country band Little Big Town christens the new stage. General admission tickets are $99 via the website ilaniresort.com/littlebigtown, and go on sale Saturday. Little Big Town is celebrating a milestone this year: the 20th anniversary of its launch, with no change in its quartet of sweetly harmonizing singers.
  • April 22: Tickets are on sale now for “I Love the ’90s,” a mini-festival of surviving acts from a couple of decades ago, including rapper Vanilla Ice, hip-hip trio Salt-N-Pepa with Spinderella, Young MC, Tone Loc and C+C Music Factory with Freedom Williams. Expect to hear such trend-setting hits as “Shoop,” “Ice, Ice Baby” and, of course, “Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).” General admission tickets are $69 via www.ilaniresort/lovethe90s.
  • April 29: Comedian Jay Leno, longtime host of “The Tonight Show” and now the car geek’s dream show, “Jay Leno’s Garage,” will host what Ilani is calling an “exclusive, invitation-only” first anniversary party in the Cowlitz Ballroom. Fans can win tickets to this event by following Ilani on Facebook: www.facebook.com/ilaniresort.

At the amphitheater

Meanwhile, the Sunlight Supply Amphitheater (about 10 minutes away) has also announced some notable names for its 2018 season. Visit the website at www.sunlightsupplyamphitheater.com for tickets.

  • May 6: Rapper Kendrick Lamar and The Championship Tour (also featuring SZA, ScHoolboy Q, Jay Rock and Ab-Soul). Tickets start at $39.
  • July 15: A cappella powerhouse Pentatonix. Tickets start at $20.
  • July 20: Country singer-songwriter Chris Stapleton and his All-American Road Show. Tickets start at $34.
  • July 28: “Juke Box Heroes Tour” featuring Foreigner, Whitesnake and Jason Bonham’s Led Zeppelin Evening. (When Foreigner goes on tour, they usually enlist a local school choir to join them onstage for their anthem “I Want To Know What Love Is.” Ridgefield High School has enjoyed that spotlight; what area choir will get tapped this time?) Tickets start at $22.
  • Aug. 23: Thrash metal band Slayer. Tickets start at $25.
  • Aug. 31: Rod Stewart with Cyndi Lauper. Tickets start at $24.
  • Sept. 8: Gothic-rock band Evanescence with electric violinist Lindsey Stirling, backed by a full orchestra. Tickets start at $18.
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