In California, local officials have approved a deal to support the federally-recognized Wilton Rancheria tribe as it seeks to construct a $400 million casino resort on 35.9 acres of land in central Sacramento County.
According to a report from local television broadcaster KCRA-TV, Wednesday evening saw the city council for Elk Grove consent to a previously arranged memorandum of understanding that laid out the tax-exempt tribe’s financial commitments should the casino resort be built just outside the small city.
The Sacramento Bee newspaper reported that the Wilton Rancheria wants to open a twelve-story development on the site of a disused shopping mall some 16 miles south of Sacramento containing a spa, a 30,000 sq ft events space, a fitness center and a casino offering some 2,000 slots in addition to 84 gaming tables. Its construction would require the demolition of four buildings while the proposed venue is to additionally be reconfigured to feature a 14-screen cinema along with restaurants and bars.
In return for its support for the building of the casino resort along a portion of California State Route 99, Elk Grove is to be guaranteed at least $132 million over the next 20 years including more than $56 million for its general fund alongside over $36 million for police and code enforcement services. The deal will additionally see the tribe hand over in excess of $26 million for road improvements and maintenance with an additional $8 million set aside for the Elk Grove Unified School District while it is to make other monetary commitments to local non-profit community groups and programs.
Raymond Hitchcock, Tribal Chairman for the Wilton Rancheria, told The Sacramento Bee that it could still be more than five years before ground is broken on the new casino resort while declaring that the finished development would offer the Sacramento region “a first-class luxury resort with hotels, pool and spas, shows and high-end restaurants”. He stated that the new enterprise, which is to be constructed in partnership with Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming Corporation, would “complement the outlet mall and, hopefully, spawn that development and get its retail portion moving quicker”.
“The tribe is committed to this community and we’re committed to supporting our local school district and supporting the city by paying our fair share,” Hitchcock told the newspaper. “This is what we intend to do for Elk Grove. This is our home as well.”