Station Casinos announces Northern California project will open Nov. 5

An $800 million Indian casino project, located roughly 45 minutes north of San Francisco and being built and managed by Station Casinos, will open Nov. 5.

The casino operator on Thursday announced the opening plans for the Graton Resort & Casino. The 320,000-square-foot property is located off U.S. Highway 101 in Rohnert Park, Calif. The resort will be the largest Indian gaming destination in the Bay Area.

The property will open at 10 a.m.

The Graton Resort is owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. The property’s casino will have 144 table games and 3,000 slot machines.

Graton’s more than one dozen restaurants include offerings from noted award-winning chefs Martin Yan, Doug Keane and 11 time-world pizza champion Tony Gemignani. The property will also have a 500-seat food court called Marketplace with nine offerings.

Other entertainment amenities include an 8,700 square foot events center that can seat 600 for concerts and other large events.

The resort will employ 2,000 workers.

“Together with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, we are thrilled to have created 2,000 local jobs as well as create a world-class entertainment destination for the Bay Area residents to enjoy,” said Graton General Manager Joe Hasson. “We are anxiously awaiting opening our doors to the public.”

Station Casinos has been working with the Graton tribe since 2003 on the development. The project broke ground in June 2012.

Station Casinos also has deal with the North Fork Rancheria of Mono Indians to move forward with the planned $350 million project near a major state highway and the city of Madera, about 25 miles north of Fresno.

The North Fork compact with California still needs approval from the U.S. Department of the Interior, and the Station Casinos management deal requires a sign-off from the National Indian Gaming Commission.

Station Casinos also operates the Gun Lake Casino near Grand Rapids, Mich., for the Gun Lake Tribe of Pottawatomi Indians.

Station Casinos had one of the gaming industry’s first development deals with a California Indian tribe when the company opened Thunder Valley near Sacramento, Calif., for the Auburn Tribe in 2003. The management contract expired in 2010.

In 2011, California’s 68 Indian casinos collected $6.91 billion in gaming revenues — one quarter of the nation’s total for tribal gaming, according to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report.

Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.

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