Casino will be next to outlet mall that is under construction
Source: KCRA, By Vicki Gonzalez
ELK GROVE, Calif. (KCRA) —A multi-million dollar casino has been given the green light to develop in Elk Grove.
The Wilton Rancheria tribe announced Thursday it is buying 36 acres of land off of Highway 99 and Grant Line Road after previous plans to break ground in neighboring Galt fell through due to environmental concerns and pushback from the agricultural community.
“When you look at Elk Grove, the overcrossing is done, water and waste water connections and infrastructure is already there,” Wilton Rancheria Chairman Raymond C. Hitchcock said. “So, it made it kind of a no-brainer at that point.”
Hitchcock estimates the casino will cost upwards of $400 million. The 12-story resort will have 302 rooms, as well as 2,000 gaming machines and a 30,000-square-foot space for events.
“When you have a project of this size, it’s a huge economic generator,” Hitchcock said. “And, that money travels around six or seven times. It’s a multiplier effect. It will be huge.”
Wilton Rancheria has signed an option agreement to buy the land from Howard Hughes Corporation, but has not actually purchased the land.
Howard Hughes is currently transforming a long-time construction eyesore into a retail outlet mall with dining and entertainment. The casino would be next door.
The tribe estimates 2,000 full-time jobs will be created, as well as an additional 2,000 jobs during the construction timeline of 12 to 18 months.
“The city of Elk Grove will benefit, the county of Sacramento will benefit, and the tribe will benefit as well,” Hitchcock said. “We’ll be able to help serve and support our community on top of that.”
Wilton Rancheria tribe has more than 700 members. Hitchcock said the average income is around $20,000 a year.
“Our tribe has been here for hundreds of years, and now have an opportunity to do something great, so we are looking forward to that partnership,” said Hitchcock, adding that contributions would include community partnerships and mitigation fees.
The city of Elk Grove has yet to publicly weigh in. Hitchcock said because of a Memorandum of Understanding, the tribe technically can move forward regardless of the city’s stance.
“We don’t want to force ourselves somewhere. We want the community support,” Hitchcock said.
The tribe said a town hall meeting is currently being planned to address any concerns.