Jeff Smith 6 p.m., Feb. 27
Jamul casino finds new backers
Dormant since last year, new investors say construction could start late 2013
Cue the East County land battles: Jamul Indian Village, the Kumeyaay tribe with a small six-acre reservation in the rural community of Jamul, southeast of El Cajon, has entered into a new partnership agreement to build and operate a casino.
Community controversy over the proposal, which has had numerous stops and starts over the last 20 years, has led the tribe to scale back from previous proposals that would have placed a 12 story hotel and 2,000 slot casino on tribal property just off Highway 94 a few miles from the unincorporated El Cajon suburb of Rancho San Diego. Residents have long argued that such a project would be a poor fit for the rural landscape and surrounding community, and have said they fear an increase in reckless or drunk drivers along the two-lane artery that serves as the main access to Jamul as well as to the communities of Dulzura and Potrero further east.
The tribe and Minnesota-based Lakes Entertainment, who would have developed the high-rise property, split ties a year ago. At that time the tribe said plans for a scaled-back project with about half the casino floor space and no hotel were forthcoming, as of Monday morning (April 8) the tribal website’s “Casino” page remains blank.
Penn National Gaming, which operates 35 gambling facilities in 20 states nationwide, announced Friday that it had entered into an agreement to develop and operate a three-story, 200,000 square foot “Hollywood-branded casino and resort” on the property, to feature “at least 1,700 slot machines, 50 live table games including poker, multiple restaurants, bars and lounges and a partially enclosed parking structure with over 1,900 spaces.”
Penn says it anticipates construction on the project could begin later this year, with the property opening approximately 24 months later.
More like this:
- Construction begins on Jamul casino despite controversy — Jan. 12, 2014
- New lawsuit filed to block Jamul casino — Sept. 23, 2013
- $350 million casino to rise in Jamul, Dulzura area — April 8, 2013
- Jamul Indians Cut Developer Ties, Revive Casino Plans — March 14, 2012
- We Did Not Want a Monstrosity — July 3, 2002