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Mike Johnson October 6, 2020 3 min read
Southern California Casinos Continue to Develop Amid Pandemic
Southern California casinos push on with construction work, expansion moves, and operations despite the pandemic.
Californian Casinos Push Continues in the South
Casinos in Southern California have marked another year of growth so far. That is despite an ongoing pandemic, dimming the prospects of recovery for at least several months more. As construction works continue, tribes won an important battle earlier this year. Tribes won the right for a proposed constitutional amendment and put up sports betting up for a possible vote in 2021.
Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians’ third property in the state slated to be complete in November. The Aqua Caliente property sprawls on some 30,000 square feet near Mary Pickford Theater. It hosts an array of 536 slot machines and eight table games. The property adds a 360 Sports bar and other amenities. That includes meeting spaces for various community activities and the Aqua Caliente Pavilion.
That space can host up to 1,000 people making it a convenient pick for expos, business meetings, and more. Outside the sports bar experience, Agua Caliente comes with a Java Caliente Café and a Café One Eleven, adding to the rich offer of possible beverage choices.
The casino is hardly the only new property. Southern California saw the transformation of the Cahuilla Casino into a resort property.
The casino along Highway 371 in Anza makes it a good pit stop for travelers or anyone looking for casino action. Although the property is small by most standards, with just 58 hotel rooms, the casino floor seems to be large enough. Plus, it features a number of amenities, including a bar, sit-down restaurant.
Harrah’s Resort Southern California Transforms the Dining Experience
Meanwhile, the pandemic has not necessarily been a bad thing. Harrah’s Resort Southern California was swift to introduce various changes that allowed it to adapt to the shutdown and derive maximum benefits.
The buffet was transformed into a casual Italian dining experience. At the time, Food and Beverage Director at Harrah’s, Abigail Jestis, commented that the transformation had been necessary because of the difficulty of enforcing social distance in buffets.
Morongo Casino Resort & Spa’s $550m Investment
The Morongo Casino Resort & Spa also retained a portion of its operations. The Splash Bar and Sideline Bar & Grill found a successful formula to weather the pandemic.
Sidelined Bar has capitalized on sports fans by creating state-of-the-art lounges where NFL fans can watch football on a 20-foot video wall. The Morongo Casino Resort & Spa underwent a significant expansion back in January 2019. It added some 65,000 square feet to its floor and 800 slot machines.
Plus, the parking can accommodate up to 750 vehicles. It’s one of the biggest properties in Southern California with a strong focus on gaming entertainment. The investment cost the company $550 million and it hasn’t quite finished yet.
The property is adding a 450-room hotel along with spa, fitness center, and a pool complex. Morongo Casino Resort & Spa is has been working on a number of projects to improve its offer. It completed several expansions and renovations and now intends to finalize construction work by the end of 2021, after having had to defer its original completion schedule.
Earlier this year, a new casino development south of Bakersfield, California emerged. The property is a collaboration between Hard Rock and the Tejon Indian Tribe and costs $600 million.