A public scoping meeting will be held on January 23, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to go over plans to relocate the Tule River Indian Tribe’s Eagle Mountain Casino to a location in the south part of Porterville.The scoping meeting will be held at the Porterville Veterans Memorial Building, 1900 W Olive Ave in Porterville.
The proposed site near the city’s airport would be much easier to access for the casino’s Valley-based customers. A recent tribal newsletter explains the reasoning and timing on the big project.
“It won’t be long before the Tejon Tribe will be building their casino between Bakersfield and the Grapevine. Right now a major part of Eagle Mountain Casino’s profit comes from the Bakersfield area. It is thought that building a new improved casino that has easier access will help maintain this customer base. The proposed build will include a 250 room hotel, a sports bar, restaurant, buffet and food court, an entertainment lounge, a 20,000 square foot convention space, a 1,700 seat entertainment center, banquet hall and meeting space. This will generate more income.
What plans are in store for the existing casino? The space could expand the existing Tribal school site; offer more health services to Tribal members, more room for Tribal offices and the food and restaurant options for Tribal members could be maintained.
There is an estimated cost of $180 million for the new and improved Eagle Mountain, but revenue should double or even triple with the expansion.”
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs will hold the meeting to hear the plan for a 40-acre fee-to-trust transfer and casino relocation project approximately 15 miles west of the Tule River Tribe Reservation. The proposed trust property includes 17 parcels, bound by West Street on the west, an off-highway vehicle park owned by the City of Porterville to the north and east, and a photovoltaic power station (solar farm) to the south.
The Tribe expects to enter into a new Class III gaming compact with the State of California for the relocated casino.
Based on the requirements of recent California Tribal-State gaming compacts, it is expected that the Tribe will be required to prepare a Tribal Environmental Impact Report to analyze the potential off-reservation environmental impacts of the Proposed Project.
The proposed casino resort includes an approximately 105,000 square foot casino, a 250-room hotel, approximately 36,000 square feet of food and beverage facilities, administrative space, a multi-purpose events center, a conference center, and associated parking and infrastructure. The new casino resort would replace the Tribe’s existing casino, and the existing casino buildings would be converted to tribal government or service uses.
The tribes’ newsletter says the project would likely not be opposed by nearby Indian tribes including the Tachi group in Lemoore.
The gaming complex could employ as many as 1000, double today’s number and begin construction as soon as 2018. Eagle Mountain is now in its 20th year of operation.