Business & Real Estate

Owner of Thunder Valley Casino buys stake in concert presenter

Lisa Mongelli, drummer and songwriter with Dig the Kid, performs at the Aftershock festival Sept. 13 at Discovery Park in Sacramento. The United Auburn Indian Community said Wednesday that its investment arm is putting money into Danny Wimmer Presents, which produces Aftershock.
Lisa Mongelli, drummer and songwriter with Dig the Kid, performs at the Aftershock festival Sept. 13 at Discovery Park in Sacramento. The United Auburn Indian Community said Wednesday that its investment arm is putting money into Danny Wimmer Presents, which produces Aftershock. lsterling@sacbee.com

The Indian tribe that owns Thunder Valley Casino near Lincoln said Wednesday it has made a “significant investment” in a Los Angeles company that produces rock music festivals.

The United Auburn Indian Community said its investment arm is putting money into Danny Wimmer Presents, an 8-year-old company whose credits include the annual Aftershock heavy-metal festival in Sacramento’s Discovery Park. Tribe spokesman Doug Elmets said the investment is simply a financial move, and not any sort of strategic partnership designed to enhance entertainment offerings at Thunder Valley.

“This is not really related to the casino,” Elmets said. “It is an equity investment.”

Financial details weren’t disclosed.

He said the Auburn tribe is seeking investments “where they have expertise. Obviously, entertainment is an area where they’ve had a lot of success.”

The firm’s founder and chairman, Danny Wimmer, said the investment will be used to grow its concert business. “We’re thrilled to be working with the (tribe), whose understanding of the live entertainment business and experience as developers, investors and community leaders makes them an ideal partner,” he said in a prepared statement.

Cash-rich tribes with casinos have been looking for years to put their money into non-gambling investments. For instance, the Marriott Residence Inn near the Capitol was developed by two Southern California tribes and a tribe from Wisconsin. Thunder Valley, meanwhile, is considered one of the most successful tribal casinos in the country.

Call The Bee’s Dale Kasler, (916) 321-1066. Follow him on Twitter @dakasler.

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