Feature in Site Selection Magazine's January 2015 Edition
January 2015 article, Site Selection Magazine
Business Development on an Eastern Oregon Indian Reservation
Over the past fifteen years, the Coyote Business Park and Wanapa Industrial Site have been the focus of diversifying the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation’s (CTUIR) economy. Much of the land is certified shovel-ready by the State of Oregon, with no system development charges. The sites provide federal and state tax incentives unique to tribal lands, and the CTUIR has a solid development team including experienced economic development staff and in-house planning and public works departments. Hundreds of adjacent tribal acres are available for expansion as well. .
After the dust has settled, CTUIR has worked with Fortune 500 and international companies to establish facilities and projects at tribal locations. Business development on the reservation, as a general rule, is not significantly different from running a business anywhere else. Businesses are subject to federal employment laws, pay state and federal taxes, and have access to state courts to resolve civil disputes. Many of our tenants have been build-to-suits with a few tribally-owned businesses as well.
In a deal with Accenture in 2006, Cayuse Technologies was established to provide software development and business process outsourcing operations to customers throughout the world. Cayuse Technologies currently employs approximately 325 people with capacity to expand. The tribal government, including its Wildhorse Resort & Casino also employs approximately 1600 employees.
In a rare move for a rural community, Coyote and the tribes helped to develop SiteLink, a site selector forum held in May bringing together a number of site selectors and 75 mostly rural communities.
Location and Industries
The sites are ideally located near the crossroads of Interstates 84 and 82 in eastern Oregon. The location is central to the Pacific Northwest, with short drives to Portland, Seattle, Spokane and Boise. A day’s drive can get you to Vancouver, Salt Lake City, or California. It is also within the newly announced FAA Pan-Pacific Unmanned Aerial System Test Range Complex. The CTUIR would like to see manufacturing, distribution and logistics, food processing, power generation, and other industries at the Coyote Business Park and Wanapa Industrial Sites.