Kara Fox-LaRose is on a winning streak.
The president and general manager of ilani led the opening of the $510 million casino and entertainment complex in 2017 and has been on a roll ever since.
Operated by the Cowlitz Indian Tribe, in Ridgefield, Washington, ilani was developed by the Cowlitz Tribe and Salishan-Mohegan, a partnership that includes Mohegan Sun.
Despite her high-profile position, Fox-LaRose doesn’t seek the spotlight. “My motto is ‘I’ll be the life of the party but prefer not to be the center of attention.’ There is a difference,” she said. However, her long list of accomplishments makes it hard to avoid.
Fox-LaRose led efforts to add the Cowlitz Ballroom in 2018, the Cowlitz Crossing Fuel & Convenience store in 2019, and a 2,600-space parking garage with an outdoor, rooftop event venue, which opened in early 2021. To mark the grand opening of the garage, ilani held a private race where two Guinness World Records were broken — one for fastest edible car and the other for longest distance covered by an edible vehicle. U.S. auto racer Michael Andretti drove the edible cake car.
Fox-LaRose has 25 years of experience in the casino and hospitality industry. After attending college in Boston, she moved steadily through the ranks at Mohegan Sun in Connecticut, then Pennsylvania, until settling in the Pacific Northwest at ilani in 2016.
Fox-LaRose counts as a major coup navigating the casino – which is a top Clark County employer with over 1,500 people on the payroll – through the 70-day closure […]