The Hard Rock brand is coming to the Sacramento region, as a recent announcement from the international chain informs that the federally recognized, Enterprise Rancheria of Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe, has partnered with the Seminole Tribe of Florida franchise to build a $440 million casino-hotel in Yuba County.
In a prepared statement, Tribal Chairwoman, Glenda Nelson, said, “The Enterprise Rancheria is thrilled and honored to work with Hard Rock International, one of the world’s most recognized brands. The Florida-headquartered Hard Rock Cafe Inc. said that the Sacramento area was “a great fit for the brand.”
The Sacramento Bee newspaper reports that while neither the Enterprise tribe nor Hard Rock would elaborate on the details of the project, financial documents from the undertaking have been reviewed by credit-rating agencies and estimate the cost of the build to be about $400 million. With preliminary site work having already begun, the mega-resort to be situated near the Toyota Amphitheatre in Wheatland is expected to open its doors to the public in October next year and according to a Moody’s Investor Service report will be named Hard Rock Sacramento.
The new venture joins two additional tribal casinos which are currently being developed in the region’s increasingly crowded gambling market. In April this year, the Buena Vista Band of Me-Wuk Indians and Caesars Entertainment Corp. announced they had broken ground in Amador County, California on a $168 million casino located some 30 miles east of Sacramento. And in south Elk Grove, a $400 million casino, hotel and conference center is planned by the Wilton Rancheria Tribe, however, a groundbreaking has yet to be announced.
Reno casino consultant, Ken Adams, reportedly said that it is likely that the Hard Rock will put pressure on the major tribal casinos in the region, including the Thunder Valley Casino Resort owned by the United Auburn Indian Community and located some 20 miles south of the Yuba County site, along with the Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks. “That’s an entirely different competitor,” he said of Hard Rock. “Their corporate resources are so much larger than anybody else’s.”
Thunder Valley, which recently completed a $56 million renovation, was unsuccessful in its efforts to block the Enterprise project and now says that it’s not worried about the coming casino. Casino spokesman, Doug Elmes, said, “We’ll continue to be the dominant player in the region, given our location and our established customer base. We don’t believe that the (Enterprise) casino will have a significant impact on Thunder Valley given its isolated location,” according to The Sacramento Bee.
Meanwhile, Yuba County officials welcomed the Enterprise Rancheria project, having for years struggled to develop the amphitheater [Toyota Amphitheatre] area into a hospitality and entertainment center.
The casino site is within County Supervisor Gary Bradford’s district and he communicated that the resort can “help spearhead other things in the area. … Hopefully, this will be just the start of future projects.” Bradford explained that the Enterprise Rancheria tribe has agreed that in lieu of taxes, it will pay the county as much as $5 million in annual payments. County supervisors moreover approved a deal with the tribe earlier this year that will see fire and emergency services provided to the casino.