The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians last week celebrated a major milestone in the $ 550 million expansion of its San Manuel Casino complex in Highland, California.
Casino officials and staff members, as well as tribal leaders and citizens attended a social distancing auction ceremony Friday to place the final steel beam on top of the planned 17-story hotel tower that will be part of the existing casino complex.
Casino officials also said that the coronavirus pandemic and the construction delays it has caused has forced them to delay the opening of the hotel and other planned new facilities for a later date.
The expansion project will be completed in three phases. During the completion ceremony, casino officials presented a updated schedule for the completion of each of the three phases.
Phase One will include the debut of the casino’s expanded arcade plus a 24-hour restaurant and high-end restaurant, as well as three new retail stores. That phase will be completed in summer 2021.
Phase Two will include the opening of the first hotel at the casino site. Previously, the facility was scheduled to receive its first guests in the summer of 2021, but now will open its doors at the end of 2021. It will feature 429 deluxe rooms and suites and additional food and beverage facilities, a full-service spa, and a pool deck with its own bar and private cabanas. The pool area will be located just above the casino floor.
Event Center will open at a later date
The opening of a 2,700-seat planned event center. The service that is meant to host various public events will now open sometime in 2022.
San Manuel Casino General Manager Peter Arceo said Friday that the coronavirus pandemic and the uncertainties it has created in the entertainment sector have forced them to change the event center schedule, which would provide them with flexibility to determine the impact of the crisis.
Mr. Arceo revealed a new element that will be part of the new hotel tower. Its top floor would have a VIP lounge that will offer views of the San Manuel Reserve and its surroundings. The casino official scoffed that “the sunrises and sunsets from there are going to be incredible.”
The original plan for the top floor of the hotel tower included a restaurant, but Mr. Arceo said that such a facility would have taken away the space from the suite and they ultimately decided not to.
The expansion of the complex is expected generates more than 2,000 new permanent jobs that will be added to the current staff of 4,500 people.
San Manuel Casino first began construction on its multi-million dollar expansions in the summer of 2018. It has completed some aspects of the large project, including the addition of several high limit game rooms, a larger gift shop, and a six-story parking lot with more than 2,000 spaces.