Tribal officials break ground on the new Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville in April. Photo by Frank Lopez
Written by Frank Lopez
Nearly 200 people were in attendance earlier this month for the groundbreaking of the new Eagle Mountain Casino in Porterville.
The casino, currently located on the Tule River Reservation in the foothills, will be moving 20 miles down the mountain near the Porterville Airport.
Located on 40 acres at 2760 W. Yowlumne Ave., the new casino will have 1,750 slot machines, table games, a 2,000-seat event center and a few restaurants on 100,000 square-foot property.
“When we put those shovels in the ground, my heart goes out thanking you who put in the long hours, those of you walked the halls in DC and the State Capitol, those that moved machines all night long, those that worked double shifts because it was so busy and you didn’t want to leave your teammates hanging there—I thank you on behalf of the tribe, tribal members, descendants, and everyone whose been benefiting,” said William Garfield, Tule River Tribe chairman.
National hospitality design firm HGB designed the casino and W.E. O’Neil was selected to do the construction. W.E. O’Neill has offices all over the Western U.S.
The casino will integrate local key elements of the tribal land and the tribe’s relationship with it. It will feature a lodge aesthetic with wood and stone structural expressions, according to a news release.
“Since we began the planning and design process, the ownership team has always been extremely open and professional in sharing their project vision and goals, inviting our team to become partners in their development journey,” said Joe Baruffaldi, principal at HBG Design. “They have immersed the design team in tribal culture and heritage and graciously embraced our conceptual storytelling as it extends into the architectural and interior design aesthetic.”
The new Eagle Mountain Casino is expected to open in December 2022.
The casino project is expected to create approximately 400 construction jobs and 300 or more full-time and part-time casino operation jobs.
“Moving forward, this is about our people and our neighbors working together to make a project that is going to benefit us all. Providing additional law enforcement, fire protection and EMS services and ensure everyone is kept safe and enjoyable time,” said Tribal Vice Chairman Neil Peyron.