The Wilton Rancheria tribe broke ground on its new resort in Elk Grove, California on 9 March. Sky River Casino is scheduled to open in H2 2022.
“It’s a good day,” said Wilton tribal elder and former chairwoman Mary Tarango, speaking at the ground breaking “Remember our ancestors – and our elders who believed this monumental day would come.”
Located at the 64-acre site of a former “ghost mall”, the ground breaking came three months after Boyd Gaming purchased the plot. An undisclosed third party is providing full financing for the $400m project, Boyd Gaming officials said.
In December, Boyd executives said the project would include a hotel, spa, restaurants and a convention centre, which would be one of the largest in the region.
Boyd Gaming president Keith Smith affirmed the new resort “will become one of the most popular, profitable casinos in the state,” providing “jobs not only for the tribe but for the entire Elk Grove community”.
The project has also been welcomed by Elk Grove mayor Bobbie Singh-Allen who said the city needed additional “entertainment and dining options”.
“This creates a vibrant entertainment district. This is a good day for the city but a great day for the tribe,” she stated.
“This will become a destination driver [and] a great opportunity to capture those tax dollars.”
The Tribe has pledged to invest $186m in Elk Grove and Sacramento County over the next 20 years to support public safety and education, roads and other services. The project is expected to employ about 1,500 skilled construction workers and create another 2,000 jobs once the resort is complete.