In California, the Sycuan Band Of The Kumeyaay Nation reportedly broke ground yesterday on the planned $226 million expansion of its Sycuan Casino that will see the San Diego County facility add an eleven-story hotel along with additional gaming space and a 12,000 sq ft ballroom.
According to a report from local television broadcaster KGTV, the redevelopment is also bringing a 1.5-acre garden to the venue along with seven new restaurants, two pools and a spa and fitness center and is an attempt by the Sycuan Band Of The Kumeyaay Nation to transform the 33-year-old Sycuan Casino into more of a Las Vegas-style resort.
“It’s something that has become indicative of casino environments in general; you need to have those non-gaming amenities,” John Dinius, General Manager for Sycuan Casino, told KGTV. “This will redefine the Sycuan [Casino] experience.”
The broadcaster explained that Sycuan Casino’s new 300-room hotel with at least 50 suites is expected to begin welcoming its first guests in 2019 while patrons will moreover be able to enjoy a 2,000-space parking facility and a casino with some 500 additional slots.
Sycuan Casino currently features a 90,000 sq ft gaming floor with 2,000 slots, 40 gaming tables and a poker room but it does not offer a hotel, which is in stark contrast to the nearby Barona Resort And Casino and Viejas Casino And Resort. This has led to a recent study from The Nielsen Company ranking the Sycuan Band Of The Kumeyaay Nation’s facility as the third most popular casino in San Diego County.
“We want to be number one,” Dinius told KGTV. “We are very competitive in this market and our absolute goal is to be the number-one casino in this region. [This expansion] has nothing to do with anybody else but ourselves and that desire to be number one.”
San Diego County now hosts twelve casinos with seven of these having already undergone renovations or non-gaming expansions since 2010 although the relatively new Hollywood Casino Jamul-San Diego, which opened in October offering some 1,700 slots as well as 43 table games and seven restaurants, also does not have a hotel.
KGTV reported that California’s aboriginal casino market is worth about $7.3 billion and currently accounts for around one-quarter of the nation’s total while its non-gaming vertical is the fastest growing after detailing a rise of 5% in 2014, which was more than twice that posted by gambling activities.