Michael Olujic, general manager for Tachi Palace, shows off some of the luxury flourishes of newly renovated hotel room at the Lemoore casino, part of a $90 million renovation. Photo by Edward Smith.

published on December 1, 2021 - 2:33 PM
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Continued renovations at Lemoore’s Tachi Palace Casino Resort mean the debut of luxury hotel rooms this week for travelers and Central Valley residents.

The first 22 rooms of the hotel to be improved reopened to the public Wednesday with revamped bathrooms, beds and fixtures.

“We wanted an updated look and provide a genuine value, but also a really unique experience for the Central Valley,” said Michael Olujic, general manager for Tachi Palace. “We’re really proud of these rooms because these types of rooms you probably can’t get unless you’re going to L.A. or San Francisco or Miami or San Diego.”

Work began in March to renovate the rooms on the second floor. The cost was about $28,500 each, totaling more than $7 million for the 200 rooms.

Bathroom walls are now made entirely glass, with frosted glass for the shower. A new feature obscures the glass for privacy with the flick of a switch. Caulking lines were glazed over with stainless steel to maintain the clean look for years to come, said Olujic, and all fixtures were redone with high-end Kohler brand products.

 

Glass walls cover the bathroom area of a newly renovated Tachi Palace Casino Resort room. With the touch of a switch, the mirrors can be fogged to the shower for privacy. Photo by Tachi Palace.

 

In the bedroom, headboards were built and decorated with genuine cowhide, laser-etched with designs that would be seen in basket artwork done by the Tachi-Yokut tribe, said Olujic. On close examination, one can even see the imperfections in the hide.

Furniture was redone with all-in-one workstations and TV displays.

Cabinets and drawers have slow-close mechanisms. The corners of the desk were rounded and the bed frame recessed so guests don’t bump a shin or elbow in the dark of an unfamiliar room. They made outlets and USB ports more accessible. Even while some would call having them in the open a design faux pas, it’s better than fumbling around looking for a port to plug in a phone, Olujic said.

“It’s about the little things,” he added.

By year’s end, they hope to be completed with 80 rooms total and by the end of 2022, they hope for all the rooms to be finished. The last will be the suites, where Olujic said the improvements will really shine.

 

Michael Olujic said the luxury renovations at Tachi Palace will create a hospitality experience normally reserved for larger cities. Photo by Edward Smith.

 

Much of the design and mill working was done in house. Olujic said they had done much of their lumber purchasing before the market had become volatile. And for that they were fortunate. The hardest thing to acquire had been electric parts. Finding the new TVs was difficult as were parts for arcade games and slot machines.

The renovations to the hotel represent only a piece of what is ultimately a $90 million overhaul to the hotel.

The new 30,000 square foot Yokut Hall will open later this winter where they will host bingo and other events. A new sports bar will be added and — if legislation allows — a sports book to go along with it. On the third floor of the casino, a new food court will be added.

The parking lot in front of the casino and hotel is being torn up and redone to make the buildings at Tachi Palace feel more unified, said Olujic.

“We’re really opening it up, making it look like one unique experience,” Olujic said.


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