The Morongo Band of Mission Indians will open what is believed to be the first tribally owned and operated Taco Bell in the nation. They expect to open by Feb. 3.
“We are delighted that Taco Bell has chosen the Morongo Indian Reservation as its newest location,” said Chairman Robert Martin of the Morongo Band of Mission Indians. “The addition of the nationally known Taco Bell brand will add to Morongo’s strong economic base and provide local jobs.”
The Morongo Band’s spokesman Michael Fisher told The Riverside Press-Enterprise that the tribe partnered with Mark Cook, the owner and operator of several Taco Bell restaurants in this venture, but they are the majority owners. The restaurant is located on the reservation.
"This great site is passed by millions of travelers every year, and I'm thrilled to be working with Morongo to bring this new restaurant to their family of businesses,” Cook told CBS’s KESQ news.
KESQ reported that the tribe is currently working with Forest City Enterprises Inc., real estate company, to expand its retail, hospitality and service-related capabilities.
The tribe also opened the first In-N-Out Burger in Indian Country in 2014.