Hundreds of new jobs await locals
■ By Mike Hiles / Contributed
The Soboba Band of Luiseño Indians is pleased with the progress being made to complete its replacement casino for an expected grand opening in the fall of 2018. The project includes a 200-room hotel, pool, two restaurants, a food court and sports bar, a 15,000-sq. ft. banquet and meeting facility for conferences and special events. The casino itself will have 2,000 slot machines and 28 game tables. The venue will be located north of Lake Park Drive, adjacent to The Country Club at Soboba Springs.
The venture is expected to create 300 to 500 permanent new jobs at the casino/resort, as well as drive economic development for the entire San Jacinto Valley, which includes the work of thousands of local contractors working on this project for the next 18-plus months. In conjunction with the casino replacement project, Soboba is planning to develop a fire station, office building and cultural center on the south side of Lake Park Drive, as well as a new home for the Soboba Indian Health Clinic currently located on Ramona Expressway, west of the San Jacinto River.
Soboba has retained the Friedmutter Group to serve as the architects and engineers for the project’s design. Friedmutter specializes exclusively in hospitality, gaming and entertainment projects of all sizes around the world. The general contractor for the project is C.W. Driver Companies, the oldest, active licensed builder headquartered in Southern California.
One day a week, 300 cement mixers are constantly traveling back and forth to the site to deliver cement needed for the foundation of the basement that will be used for the facility’s back-of-house operations. To date, 5,000 cubic yards of concrete have been poured. Recently, 2,000 tons of rebar were delivered to the site and tied to support the concrete walls.
Steel will be brought in soon and the resort’s buildings will begin to rise later this summer. During the building phase, law enforcement services will be provided by the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department at Soboba expense.
As of July, final geotechnical studies have been completed, and environmental and biological studies required by the Department of the Interior’s Final Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision are being conducted by specialty consultants as construction progresses.
The Tribe has retained an environmental compliance monitor who regularly reports to the Bureau of Indian Affairs to ensure compliance with each of the mitigation measures required by the Record of Decision.
Since the Feb. 28 groundbreaking, attended by tribal council members from other Southern California tribes, Hemet and San Jacinto City Council members and school district representatives, and Riverside County law enforcement personnel, Soboba has worked closely with local companies to develop the utility and transportation infrastructure for the project. The Tribe would like to thank Eastern Municipal Water District, the city of San Jacinto, Southern California Edison and SoCal Gas for their continued support as this exciting new project moves forward with its promise for economic growth and shared prosperity for the entire community.
For the latest information, visit the News/Press page on Soboba’s website, https://www.soboba-nsn.gov/casino-replacement-facility-information-center.