By Raymond C. Hitchcock, Chairman, Wilton Rancheria
Chairman Hitchcock was invited to provide a response to a story posted on this site yesterday. Below is his submission. |
ElkGroveNew.net has devoted a lot of space giving voice to opponents of the Wilton Rancheria resort and casino project in Elk Grove—secretly funded opponents who pose as “community activists” but in fact are professional political consultants, lobbyists and high-priced lawyers.
At the same time, EGN has largely ignored the overwhelming community support and positive impact the project will have on jobs and economic growth, and the more than $180 million investment the Tribe will make to support city and county services over just the first 20 years of operation.
But the latest blatantly biased editorial opinion feebly disguised as news reporting on EGN has crossed over from wrong-headed to absurd. Yes, one of the most important aspects of our project is a commitment to bring unique, fine-dining experiences to Elk Grove, something the city needs and which will make the experience of living in the area much more enjoyable.
But will these new restaurant options present unfair competition to big, national restaurant chains? Seriously? Whatever challenges these mega-chains face is their business. Our priority is to give our community new dining options and experiences beyond the big chains that today are the norm for restaurants in Elk Grove.
And any comparison of our project to Walmart is, well, laughable. To argue that we are to the national restaurant chains what Walmart is to the small, independently owned retailer is ludicrous to say the least.
We are excited to be creating an entertainment destination that everyone can enjoy - a first-rate hotel, fine dining, convention and concert venues and, yes, a casino. We hope the people of Elk Grove and the larger Sacramento region will enjoy the experiences; the feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. This is truly a community project -a community to which we proudly belong and are committed to supporting.
Photo - Wilton Rancheria Tribal Chairman Raymond C. Hitchcock (center) along with California Assemblymember Jim Cooper (l) and former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis at the February 14, 2017 dedication of the proposed $400 million casino in Elk Grove.