By Shirin Rajaee

YUBA COUNTY (CBS13) — A big-name group making waves in Yuba County as residents prepare for a multimillion-dollar project to go up.

A Hard Rock Casino hotel is being built on Forty Mile Road, just north of the Toyota Amphitheatre between highways 70 and 65.

“We’ve been waiting a long time, I’m actually excited, it’s gonna create a lot of jobs,” said Cami Thomas who lives in Plumas Lake.

Preliminary site work for the casino resort project is underway.

“It’s gonna bring foot traffic we’re not used to, but it’s exciting we’re growing,” said Thomas.

The Fire Mountain Casino project sits on 40 acres of tribal land owned by Enterprise Rancheria in a Yuba County area zoned off for Sports & Entertainment. The tribe is partnering with Hard Rock Cafe International chain.

“The Enterprise Rancheria is thrilled and honored to work with Hard Rock International, one of the world’s most recognized brands. Together, our goal is to bring the best, most exciting and authentic gaming, hospitality, and entertainment experiences to Northern California,” said Glenda Nelson, Tribal Chair with Enterprise Rancheria.

“This project will bring lots of high-quality high paying jobs to the area,”
said Yuba County Supervisor Gary Bradford.

According to Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation, more than 4,000 jobs are expected to be brought to the region with over $225 million in annual revenue.

“The fact that it’s a hard rock casino, really puts it over the top,” said Bradford.

The region has an already crowded gambling market- with Colusa Casino just 45 minutes away, Elk Grove gearing up for its massive casino project, and to the south of the future Hard Rock just 25 min away, you have Thunder Valley Casino.

“Thunder Valley is great, but it’s Hard Rock, that’s a big deal,” said Thomas.

That begs the question, will the project put pressure on the region’s major tribal casinos? A spokesman for Thunder Valley says they’re not concerned.

“We don’t believe this casino will have any measurable effect given frankly its isolated location. Thunder Valley is the dominant casino in the region and has an established customer base,” said spokesman Doug Elmets.

But what does raise concerns?

“The traffic, cause we get so much traffic from the concert, all parking here,” said nearby resident Marci Cuff.

Cuff adds, “I think it’s gonna bring more money to the community but I don’t know what crowds we’ll get.”

Traffic is a concern, especially on Highway 65. That already gets traffic that occurs when there are concerts especially and size it’s a two-lane highway.

The project will have 170-hotel rooms, a pool, restaurants, gaming and more.

The estimated construction and start-up cost is about $440 million, And it’s expected to open late 2019.

Shirin Rajaee

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