In northern San Diego County, a partnership between the federally recognized La Jolla Band of Luiseño Indians and multinational oil and gas company, BP, will reportedly see the opening of the La Jolla Trading Post & Casino before the month’s end.
The Valley Roadrunner newspaper reports….
Chief executive officer for the 700-member La Jolla tribe, Skye McMichael, said the hope is for the enterprise to be a “flagship” operation in the Pauma Valley area.
According to McMichael, they’d like for the business venture to be operational “in time for the winter market.”
Not new to the game:
It’s not the first time the tribe’s gas station and market [La Jolla Trading Post] located on Hwy 76 had a gaming element. More than a decade ago, the facility had some 20 slot machines, prompting it to be dubbed the state’s smallest “casino.”
The tribe’s return-to-gaming will see about 2,500 square feet feature 75 state-of-the-art slot machines, while an area equal to that will offer camping gear, groceries and a deli.
Dollars and sense:
While the tribe will profit from the 75 slot positions, it isn’t trying to compete with the likes of neighboring casinos such as Pala, Harrah’s or even Casino Pauma, which as casinos go is modest with just over 35,000 square feet of gaming. Rather the tribe -about half of which call the 10,000-acre reservation home – is trying to increase its revenue stream to improve its quality of life.
“we’re going to have a community feeling”
McMichael communicated to The Roadrunner that the slot machines are just part of the tribe’s economic development.
“We see this as another tribal enterprise adding to our economic potential. It’s not going to be a huge facility, but kind of a place where you can stop and fill up at a gas station that has some of the lowest prices around and do a little gambling,” said McMichael. “We’re going to have a community feeling.”
Other tribal enterprises include the La Jolla Indian Campground and RV Park, and La Jolla Zip Zoom, a two-hour guided tour featuring four zipline courses.
The goal is for all three tribal enterprises to support each other. For example, a rewards program at the casino will provide discounts at the tribe’s other businesses.
According to the newspaper, the casino reward program should be active by this fall.