Final beam hoisted on $250 million resort project
MORONGO INDIAN RESERVATION, Calif. - The Morongo Band of Mission Indians
and Perini Building Company celebrated the topping-out of the new Morongo
Casino, Resort & Spa with the hoisting of the highest piece of structural
steel on to the resort's rooftop on March 31.
Featuring four-star suites and rooms, multiple restaurant facilities, a
nightclub, spa, ballrooms, convention facilities, retail space and a pool
oasis, the 600,000 square-foot hotel and casino is the largest economic
development project undertaken by the tribe in its history.
"Our world-class casino, resort and spa is scheduled to open in November
and will be the premier recreational gaming destination on the West Coast,"
said Morongo tribal chairman Maurice Lyons. "It is a beautiful and unique
design inspired by the forces of nature. We believe the new resort will
bring a piece of paradise to the desert."
Located 90 minutes east of Los Angeles and 20 minutes west of Palm Springs
between the scenic San Gorgonio and San Jacinto mountain ranges, the
destination resort will offer visitors a full range of entertainment and
recreational options. Lush gardens, sandy beaches and extensive landscaping
are among the design features of the property.
"When complete, the resort will set a new standard for tribal casinos and
gaming in California," said Perini Building Company chairman Dick Rizzo.
Expected to generate more than $2.8 billion in new jobs and economic
benefits within the next five years, the Morongo tribe is the largest
private-sector employer in the Pass Area and provides economic stability to
the reservation and surrounding communities of the Inland Empire.
"As a prominent partner of the community and part of California's tribal
gaming industry, the Morongo Band of Mission Indians is a major contributor
to the seventh largest economy in the world," said Riverside County
Supervisor Marion Ashley. "The new casino, resort and spa will serve as an
economic driver for the county with the creation of more than 4,000 jobs
and $1.4 billion in new goods and services purchased over the next five
The current facility, Casino Morongo, hosts more than 1.5 million visitors
annually. With the opening of Morongo Casino, Resort & Spa scheduled for
fall 2004, patrons will soon enjoy an expansive 148,000 square foot
state-of-the-art casino housing a complete selection of slot machines and
table games and rooms for bingo and poker.
"With a seasoned Perini project team, 1,000 dedicated craftspeople and
precision planning, the project remains on schedule," said Tom Linton,
Morongo's director of planning and economic development who is overseeing
the project together with the tribal council. "... We have been able to
successfully maintain momentum while adhering to our budget."
Construction unions were among the first to endorse and support Indian
self-reliance during Propositions 5 and 1A. Of the 20 major subcontractors
working on the project, 19 are union shops.
ABOUT THE MORONGO BAND OF MISSION INDIANS
The Morongo tribe operates one of the largest and oldest tribal government
gaming facilities in California. As a direct result of the gaming
operation's success, the Morongo tribe has eliminated welfare dependency on
the reservation. The tribe now pays for a wide range of its community
services including water storage and distribution systems, waste
management, road maintenance, public safety, college education funding,
recreational facilities, Headstart program assistance and more.
The Morongo tribe is the largest private sector employer in the
Banning-Beaumont region and a major contributor to the Coachella Valley
economy. The tribe presently employs approximately 2,000 people in gaming
and non-gaming tribal operations.