In northern California, work has reportedly begun to demolish a portion of an unfinished shopping center in order to make way for a planned $400 million tribal casino from the federally-recognized Wilton Rancheria.
According to a Friday report from The Sacramento Bee newspaper, the coming Wilton Rancheria Resort and Casino for the small city of Elk Grove has been over four years in the making and is to eventually encompass a twelve-story hotel along with a spa, 30,000 sq ft events space, fitness center and casino complete with some 2,500 slots and around 84 gaming tables.
The newspaper reported that the start of the demolition work follows last month’s approval by the United States Department of the Interior of the gaming compact the Sacramento County tribe inked with the state in October of 2017 as well as the defeat last March of a lawsuit designed to scupper the project.
Raymond Hitchcock, Chairman for the Wilton Rancheria, reportedly told The Sacramento Bee that his tribe spent some $36 million in February of 2015 to buy the 35.9-acre plot for the casino before embarking on the required land-into-trust process, which was obtained in February of 2017. He purportedly detailed that the previous owner of the land, real estate developer The Howard Hughes Corporation, had originally intended to construct an outlet mall on the site but abandoned these plans despite the presence of a skeletal structure built by a previous landlord with similar intentions.
Hitchcock to The Sacramento Bee…
“We’re starting a new chapter moving closer to a brighter future for our tribal citizens, the people of Elk Grove and the greater Sacramento region.”
Envisioned 2020 opening:
Hitchcock told the newspaper that removing the existing steel structures on the site could take up to four weeks to complete while his tribe plans to start construction work ‘later this year’ in hopes of opening the Wilton Rancheria Resort and Casino sometime in 2020.