To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the tribe’s official restoration

Rolling Hills casino in California announces expansion plans

Completion of all phases is expected to take 14 months, with many of the changes in place during the summer of 2020, Daily News reports.
Reading time 2:41 min
Andrew “Dru” Alejandre, chairman of the Paskenta Band of the Nomlaki Indians, said the idea for the expansion goes back to the change in tribal leadership that took place in 2014, and management staff was hired with growth in mind.

The Paskenta Band of the Nomlaki Indians has announced a multi-million dollar expansion and remodel of its Rolling Hills Casino to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the tribe’s official restoration.

“We were looking for a general manager with knowledge of expanding casinos,” said tribal chairman Andrew ‘Dru’ Alejandre during an interview Thursday. “It will provide more opportunities for our community and for us in the tribe to give back to the community.”

General Manager Steve Neely said the expansion will increase the gaming area by 40 percent, bring in two new restaurants, redesign and expand conference facilities and give the entire casino a facelift.

“The new council saw the opportunity to grow the casino and make it more than a truck stop with slot machines,” Neely said.

Construction will take place in phases to allow the casino, built in 2002, to continue operations with minimal disruption, Neely said. Completion of all phases is expected to take 14 months, with many of the changes in place during the summer of 2020, Daily News reports.

“The 25th anniversary of restoration and recognition by the federal government marks an important, watershed date for our tribe as we look to the future,” Alejandre said. “The recent opening of our new outdoor Amphitheater and our new partnerships with major food and hospitality brands solidifies the tribe’s commitment to being a valued economic community partner for the North State.”

Through the Paskenta Nomlaki Foundation, the tribe has turned revenues from the casino into grants of more than $6,725,000 in Tehama County. Funding has gone to local medical facilities, the building of a Tribal Community and Senior Citizens Center, donation of fire and law enforcement resources and creation of recreational programs in Corning.

As previously announced, Rock & Brews and Fatburger restaurants will be opened in the remodeled facility. Neely said the addition allows the casino to offer something not found in this part of the state. Rock & Brews is expected to open in the summer of 2020 and Fatburger in January 2021.

The gaming area will expand to the east and south on the property to enclose existing entryways and landscaping, Neely said. The main entryway and fountain will be removed and parking lots realigned to make parking and entry simpler.

A brewery and distillery will produce beer and spirits, crafted on-site and sold throughout the property. The tribe expects to announce the name of

the establishment soon. Legislation passed in 2018 repealed a 184-year ban on production of spirits on tribal property.

The entire facility will be modernized and rooms upgraded at both The Lodge at Rolling Hills and The Inn at Rolling Hills. A new coffee shop will be added along with a pizza restaurant and retail space. A ballroom and conference center will be the final phase of the project and is expected to be the most versatile and largest of its kind in the area.

The project will break ground Saturday with a ceremony at 1 p.m. and is expected to create an estimated 400 jobs during construction and up to 200 permanent new jobs post-construction.

“Right now, this will be the focus” Neely said. ” The community has supported us, allowing us to take this step. We want to make sure we can support this.”

With occupancy rates at the casino’s hotels around 99 percent throughout the year, Neely said the tribe could look at expanding existing lodging or adding a new hotel to the site.

Alejandre said tribal members are supportive of the expansion.

“Very positive,” Alejandre said. “People are enjoying the opportunity for change and the direction the tribe is headed with their businesses.”

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