In California, Graton Resort and Casino has proposed an expansion package to ensure the property can compete against a casino coming to Sonoma County. Graton would like to maintain its stature as the largest gaming destination in the Bay Area by offering a larger gaming floor and adding a hotel tower.
Owned and operated by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, the casino would grow by 50% based on the proposed plan. A new 221 guest room hotel tower would be added, that is five stories in size. The tribe filed a notice with the city last week in order to alert the county of its plans. Because the casino is located on tribal land, the county does not have the ability to stop such expansion from taking place.
Details of the Plans
When the Graton Resort was first opened in 2013, it offers 3,000 slots games and over 140 table games. Several restaurants were opened onsite. By 2016, the property offered a 200-room hotel. Currently, the property offers over 2,000 people employment, but that number should change as the expansion takes shape.
The new proposal calls for the property to offer more gaming space. The casino is already 320,000 square feet in size, and with the addition, a further 144,000 square feet would be added. The owner would also like to provide a rooftop restaurant for guests.
The hotel wing of the property would offer more rooms and would be created next to the hotel the casino already offers. The swimming pool area of the casino will also be expanded. On top of that, the operator plans to add a new theater and parking garage. For the additional water needs of the expansion, the tribe will add a water tank.
Environmental Aspects of the Expansion
The Graton Rancheria has an environmental study that is ongoing, with a constant review of its property and how it affects the surrounding areas. In the notice to the city, the tribe points out that the study will continue with its proposal, reviewing how the project will affect the water resources and air quality of its neighbors.
The study will also review public services, traffic, and noise issues. Supervisor David Rabbitt commented that he is looking forward to discussing with tribal members what they want to do with the expansion and how it will happen.
The tribe planned on expanding the casino years ago, but then the COVID-19 pandemic began. Now that the plans are in motion, the county will review the proposal and give insight into any potential environmental impact or off-site issues.