The Paskenta Band of the Nomlaki Indians have announced a multi-million dollar expansion and remodelling of their Rolling Hills Casino to celebrate the tribe’s official restoration’s 25th anniversary.
“We were looking for a general manager with knowledge of expanding casinos,” said tribal chairman Andrew ‘Dru’ Alejandre during an interview Thursday. “It will provide more opportunities for our community and for us in the tribe to give back to the community.”
The expansion would raise the gaming area by 40%, include two new restaurants, an upgrade and improvement of it’s conference facilities, and give the entire casino a facelift.
“The new council saw the opportunity to grow the casino and make it more than a truck stop with slot machines,” Neely said.
Construction will take place in phases to allow the casino, built in 2002, to continue with minimal disruption operations, Neely said. It is expected to take 14 months to complete all stages, with many of the improvements taking place in the summer of 2020, Daily News reports.
“The 25th anniversary of restoration and recognition by the federal government marks an important, watershed date for our tribe as we look to the future,” Alejandre said. “The recent opening of our new outdoor Amphitheater and our new partnerships with major food and hospitality brands solidifies the tribe’s commitment to being a valued economic community partner for the North State.”
The tribe has turned profits from the casino into grants of more than $6,725,000 in Tehama County through the Paskenta Nomlaki Foundation. Funding went to local medical facilities, establishing a Tribal Cultural and Senior Citizens Center, donating manpower from fire and law enforcement, and developing recreational programmes in Corning.
Rock & Brews and Fatburger restaurants will be opened in the renovated building, as previously announced. Neely said the addition helps the casino in this part of the state to sell something that is not available elsewhere. It is planned that Rock & Brews will open in the summer of 2020 and that Fatburger will open in January 2021.
The gaming area on the property would extend east and south to include existing entries and landscaping, Neely said. It will replace the main entrance and fountain and realign parking lots to ease parking and entry.
A brewery and distillery will produce beer and spirits, made on-site and sold all over the property. The tribe expects the establishment’s name to be announced soon. An 184-year ban on the production of spirits on tribal property was repealed by legislation passed in 2018.
Modernising of the entire facility and upgrading rooms at both The Lodge at Rolling Hills and The Inn at Rolling Hills will take place, with a pizza restaurant and retail space, a new coffee shop will be added. The final phase of the project will be a ballroom and conference centre, which is expected to be the most versatile and largest of its kind in the area.
The venture breaks ground with a ceremony at 1 p.m. on Saturday. An estimated 400 jobs and up to 200 permanent new post-construction jobs are expected to be created during construction.
“Right now, this will be the focus” Neely said. ” The community has supported us, allowing us to take this step. We want to make sure we can support this.”
Neely said the tribe could look at expanding existing lodging or adding a new hotel to the site with occupancy rates at the casino’s hotels around 99 percent throughout the year.
Alejandre said the expansion was supported by tribal members. “Very positive,” he said. “People are enjoying the opportunity for change and the direction the tribe is headed with their businesses.”