The tribal owner of Cache Creek Casino agreed Tuesday to provide Yolo County with $161 million over the next 22 years, as it eyes an expansion for its resort in Brooks.
The Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation’s agreement to provide funding for police, roads and other public services is typical for Indian tribes that operate casinos in the state. The money is intended to mitigate the impacts of tribal gaming, since casinos are not subject to local taxes.
While the tribe’s original agreement wasn’t set to expire until 2020, officials on both sides decided to speed up negotiations in light of a proposed $200 million expansion of the casino’s hotel. The tribe is expected to break ground in the coming months on the project that would add up to 459 rooms, a pool, restaurant and additional meeting space. The gaming floor will not be expanded.
Under the terms, Yolo County will receive a one-time payment of $1.5 million within 90 days of construction and $6.16 million annually for the general fund, according to a county news release. Additionally, the tribe will commit roughly $300,000 per year for Capay Valley community projects. They will also provide $5 million for improvements to Highway 16 and money to hire emergency responders.
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Yolo County Supervisor Oscar Villegas, who was involved in the negotiations, called the tribe “a very good partner.”
“It sets the tone for working together,” said Villegas, adding that the expansion of the hotel will generate more jobs for area residents.
In the county’s news release, Yocha Dehe chairman Leland Kinter said the agreement would deliver “important benefits to the local community.”
“Everyone wins under our new agreement,” he said.
Tribal officials declined further comment about the agreement and the expansion of the hotel.
As the number of Indian casinos continues to rise in California, tribes are seeking to reinvest in their properties in order to attract more customers. Hotels are a key component to generating revenue since patrons are likely to spend more time on the gaming floor, industry experts say. When Cache Creek’s expansion is finished, it will have 659 rooms.
Thunder Valley Casino in Lincoln is in the process of adding 111 rooms through furnishing three floors that were intentionally left incomplete in 2010, due to lackluster demand during the recession. Red Hawk in El Dorado County is the only one of the three Sacramento-area casinos without a hotel.