In November the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians announced plans to improve and expand its casino. The project is expected to create nearly 1,400 jobs during the construction process, and add 1,200 new jobs in San Bernardino County.
“As a leading tourism destination in the region,” Jerry Paresa, Chief Executive Officer of the Tribe, noted when the announcement was made, “we’re often asked, ‘Why doesn’t San Manuel have a hotel?’” According to Paresa, a hotel and other improvements will allow the casino to meet the growing needs of its guests while also bringing additional economic benefits to the community.
In early January, the tribe issued a Notice of Completion (NOC) of the Draft Tribal Environmental Impact Report (TEIR) for the expansion project. On Friday, San Manuel held a public meeting to review it. The Draft TEIR is available for public review and comment online at https://www.sanmanuel-nsn.gov/Portals/1/SanManuelTier/_San%20Manuel%20Pub%20DraftTEIR.pdf.
The public comment period began January 10, when the Draft TEIR became public, and will conclude February 26. This comment period is designed to give community members and other interested parties a chance to weigh-in on the project and the Draft TEIR in alignment with the Off-Reservation Environmental Impact Analysis Checklist. The checklist considers potential concerns in key areas, including aesthetics, air quality, population and housing, noise, transportation, traffic, and water.
The proposed expansion will take place within the casino’s existing site. It will include a resort-style hotel with approximately 500 rooms, an expanded casino space with state-of-the-art amenities, a 4,000-seat performance venue, additional meeting and event space, a spa, high-quality restaurants and retail shops, a 2,200-vehicle parking structure, and power utility infrastructure.
San Manuel is among the region’s top 10 private employers, currently supporting more than 4,200 employees. The expansion will bring that figure closer to 5,400 jobs. Today, according to tribal officials, nearly 70 percent of the revenue generated by San Manuel Casino’s gaming operations comes from out-of-county visitors. Those tourism dollars not only have a positive impact on local businesses, they ripple across the inland region.