Work on New NorCal Casino to Start Soon as Developer Secures Funding
Tribal officials said last week that as part of the recently obtained financing, they will also soon announce a ground-breaking date for the tribe’s proposed $500 million casino resort.
The property will be located at a 35-acre site just off Highway 99 at Kammerer Road near the city of Elk Grove. Wilton Rancheria planned to break ground on the project in June 2020, but put those plans on indefinite hold, citing market instability and financial uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Commenting on the latest news about the planned casino complex, the Wilton Rancheria Chair’s Office said late last week that “this historic accomplishment results from over a decade of intensive research, communication, and relationship building with the City of Elk Grove and our Development Partner, Boyd Gaming.”
Tribal officials also said that they would announce a date for a ground-breaking ceremony in the coming days.
In September 2016, the Elk Grove City Council approved unanimously a memorandum of understanding with the tribe over the gaming resort project. Wilton Rancheria’s property will be developed off reservation land, which it purchased a few years ago and applied for a special approval to build a casino on it with the US Department of the Interior. The agency issued a favorable decision in early 2017 and the land in question was taken into federal trust.
Opponents of the scheme filed an appeal, contesting the legality of the Interior Department’s decision but it was denied in the summer of 2017.
Under its agreement with Elk Grove, the tribe agreed to pay $132 million to the city over a 20-year period to cover the impact of its gambling resort.
The Proposed Casino Complex
Under a compact between Wilton Rancheria and California, the former was allowed to host up to 2,500 slot machines at its planned new casino. The compact was ratified by the state Legislature in the fall of 2017.
Wilton Resort Casino and Spa will feature a 110,000-square-foot casino with more than 2,000 slot machines and over 80 table games. The property will also include a 12-story hotel tower with 302 rooms and suites, spa and fitness center, luxury pool complex, and a number of food and beverage outlets.
A total of 30,000 square feet of meeting space, conference center, ballroom, and an entertainment venue will enable the resort to host events of different nature. A movie theater and retail space will also be part of its facilities when it opens doors.
When the tribe first released details about the resort, it said construction would take between 12 and 18 months to complete. This means the complex is likely to open doors sometime in the second half of 2022.
Wilton Rancheria plans to spend more than $500 million to build the luxury multi-purpose complex.
Preparation for the resort site commenced in early 2019 when an abandoned mall that had previously occupied it was demolished.
Construction is expected to generate 1,600 jobs, while more than 1,750 full-time positions will be created when the property swings its doors open.
Source: “Proposed Casino Near Elk Grove Secures Funding”, CBS Sacramento, February 27, 2021
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