San Manuel Casino to debut phase one expansion

Southern California’s San Manuel Casino is continuing its hiring push as it prepares to debut phase one of its ongoing expansion project this month.

Officially taking place on July 24, a date which also coincides with the 35th anniversary of the gaming property, phase one will introduce a larger gaming space, a 24-hour restaurant, a high-end dining venue, and new retail shops.

The casino expansion includes an additional 1300 slots, with San Manuel also set to open its first on-site hotel, featuring 432 luxury rooms and suites, premium dining venues, and an event venue, later in the year.

“I remember sitting in the building when the tables were still being bolted into the floor, and the ceiling hadn’t been put in,” said Dianna Scina, director of experiential marketing at the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, and 35-year veteran employee. 

“There were about 100 employees talking about how San Manuel was going to be the biggest bingo hall and that we had a great opportunity for something that was new to the community.”

San Manuel Casino, which first opened as a bingo hall in 1986, undertook a previous expansion project in 1994 to grow into a 100,000 square foot casino that featured slot machines and card games. 

This latest project will see the addition of two brand-new floors of expanded gaming space featuring 1,300 slot machines, 40 more table games, a new high-limit gaming room area, three retail stores, two dining options, and a 17-floor hotel tower. This will add more than 2,000 new jobs by the end of 2021.

“This endeavour advances the continued development of our tribal government and economy, and as importantly, creates permanent jobs and opportunities for the region—which is our home,” Ken Ramirez, chair of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, is previously as quoted as saying on the project.

Earlier this year, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians and the San Manuel Gaming and Hospitality Authority unveiled a definitive agreement to acquire Las Vegas’ Palms Casino Resort for $650m.

The transaction, which would see a subsidiary of SMGHA purchase the venue from Red Rock Resorts and its Station Casinos subsidiary, is expected to close later in the year, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. 

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