Sky River Casino in Elk Grove, Sacramento has hosted its official grand opening event. The California gaming venue held a weekend-long event earlier this month beginning Friday, September 16 with speeches by Wilton Rancheria officials and Boyd Gaming, followed by a traditional Awakening Ceremony on Saturday, September 17 featuring lion dances and prize giveaways.
The indoor ceremony took place at the entryway near SR Prime Steakhouse, marking the casino’s “official opening” despite being in activity since mid-August. The ahead-of-schedule opening last month took the local community by surprise when Sky River took to Facebook at nearly midnight on August 15 to announce it was in activity: by morning, the 24-hour casino had well over 600 guests come through its doors.
“Since its opening, business has been booming for the casino and many guests are already clocking in big wins,” Sky River said in a press release. The casino boasts over 100,000 square feet of gaming space, featuring 80 table games and 2,000 slot machines. Since opening in August, the property has become the first tribal casino in the County. Boyd Gaming operates the casino on land that is owned by the Wilton Rancheria tribe.
A large, circular bar sits like a roulette wheel in the center of the gaming space, while blown glass chandeliers in the shape of oak leaves and acorns hanging above the casino floor pay homage to the tribal lands. The property features 17 bars in total, along with “a curated lineup of gourmet eateries.” Additionally, the casino features a High Limit room where guests can experience “a more intimate setting” while placing higher-than-average bets.
“The past month has truly exceeded our expectations and we are grateful to our guests who have come from near and far to visit, and our team members that have worked to make Sky River Casino the success that it has become,” commented President and Chief Operating Officer, Chris Gibase. “Now that we are open, we look forward to our continued partnership and support for the City of Elk Grove and the surrounding communities.”
The Wilton Rancheria and Boyd Gaming broke ground on the $500 million project last year, in March 2021. Gibase, who comes from Boyd Gaming, explained in August that the parties originally planned to have construction done by the end of October, but they were able to finish early, credited mostly to efficient pre-planning and by having avoided supply chain issues that delayed other construction projects by buying materials in advance.
“There are 17 bars and restaurants here that people are really going to gravitate to. The casino’s really nice — it offers the newest, latest, greatest machines — a variety of Asian-style games. But the restaurants, the bars, is what’s really going to wow people,” Gibase said in August. “One of the things that this property has been built upon is to be food-facing and beverage-facing [...] If you’re a foodie, this is the place.”