The Tule River Indian Tribe’s proposal to relocate the Eagle Mountain Casino from its reservation to Porterville, California, was approved by the Department of Interior.
Long Overdue Relocation
The Tule River Indian Tribe confirmed that the US Department of Interior approved mid-December its plan for the relocation in Porterville of its gaming property Eagle Mountain Casino.
The tribe said the move had been in the making for the past 20 years, despite the submission of its fee-to-trust application in 2016, a 16-step process for “a transfer of land title from an eligible Indian Tribe […] to the United States of America, in trust, for the benefit of the eligible Indian Tribe,” according to the Department of Interior.
The fee-to-trust approval and the approval of a Tribal-State Compact between California and the Tule River Indian Tribe will now enable the tribe to relocate the Eagle Mountain from its spot on the Tule River Indian Reservation to a 40-acre area within Porterville known as the Airpark site.
Construction will soon begin at the resort’s new location, with 400 jobs expected. According to the tribe, the property will feature a hotel, an event and convention centre, a restaurant with a buffet and dining space, a sports bar, and a gaming lounge. About 300 full-time and part-time positions related to casino operations have been announced.
The decision was taken so the tribe “may use [its] limited water supply to provide critical housing to [its] tribal members and continue to improve the general welfare of [its] tribal members,” Tribal Chairman Neil Peyron declared. “These approvals represent the culmination of decades of hard work and perseverance,” he added. The Tule River tribe is “pleased that the Governor [Gavin Newsom] recognized the substantial benefits of the project for the community”.
Intergovernmental agreements with the City of Porterville and Tulare County have begun to assess the impact of the relocation and funding for governmental services.