By Ron Jones

ELK GROVE (CBS13) — A rancheria appears to have given up on its plans to build a casino in Galt and is instead eyeing land around a still-developing Elk Grove outlet mall.

The Wilton Rancheria proposal is drawing opinions from residents and visitors alike, both in favor and against the idea.

The 12-story hotel-casino and convention center would be right off of Highway 99 and on the property of Elk Grove’s Outlet Collection Mall.

Chairman Raymond Hitchcock says they’re working out a deal with the Howard Hughes Corporation to buy more than 35 acres for the casino.

“It kind of makes sense to look at Elk Grove closely,” he said. “It will be a great complement to the mall The Elk Grove Collection being planned now.”

Earlier this year, the tribe was working with Galt city leaders to build the casino on more than 280 acres of farmland there, but that deal fell apart. Hitchcock says that deal would have required building a new overpass and tons of infrastructure for sewage and water, and tons of cash.

“It was probably going to be upwards close to $40 million to do the interchange and right of way costs and that does not include bringing in the infrastructure either. It doesn’t include that number,” he said.

The tribe still has to get approval from the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, and the groundbreaking would likely still be years away.

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