Pala Band announces $170 million casino expansion in San Diego County

Pala Casino Spa & Resort on Thursday announced plans for the expansion and renovation of its northern San Diego County property. The $170 million project will kick off in October when a groundbreaking event will see construction begin on a new 349-room hotel tower and more.

One of three major projects since its $100 million expansion and renovation in 2009, the latest comes on the heels of the premiere of the property’s new $6.1 million 10-acre RV Resort in Pala, California on Highway 76 adjacent to its hotel casino.

In addition to the new hotel tower, the expansion and renovation will include converting the pool area into a multi-pool and entertainment complex. The parking garage, casino bar, and casino floor will all be expanded. The latter will increase Pala’s existing gaming casino floor from 90,000 square feet to over 102,000 and will see its video and slot machine count go from 2,000 to 2,500 while its table gaming offering will increase to 88. The interior of the casino, existing hotel and restaurant promenade will also undergo a complete remodel. The project is expected to be completed in May 2019.

Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, Robert Smith, said, “Our ability to exponentially expand and refresh Pala Casino Spa & Resort is a true testament to, not only the growth of Pala, but also to the thriving economy and the continued strength of the gaming industry in California,” according to the press release. Smith added, “This is a significant milestone for our Tribe and we look forward to continuing to exceed the expectations of our loyal patrons.”

Upon completion, Pala’s 7BALL guests will be able to choose from 854 luxuriously-appointed deluxe rooms and suites with a full cache of amenities. The addition of the new hotel tower will allow it to better compete with Harrah’s Resort Southern California and Pechanga Resort & Casino in Temecula. The former already offers more than 1,000 hotel room and the latter will exceed that by about 100 rooms in December when its new hotel tower is expected to be completed.

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Pala’s new hotel suites will overlook the multi-pool and entertainment complex and its custom built outdoor entertainment venue, Starlight Theater. The new venue will offer state-of-the-art sound and lighting and headliner acts.

Chief Executive Officer for Pala Casino Spa & Resort, Bill Bembenek, said, “We are very excited to engage in our third major expansion since our introduction to the Southern California gaming and hospitality market more than 16 years ago. As in the past, we expect elements of this expansion and upgrade to be unique to our property and to set new resort standards” according to the press release. Bembenek went on to say that the expansion project will complement the already luxurious resort offerings while at the same time providing its patrons with “new world-class amenities.”

Per the press release, the renovation and expansion project at Pala will create some 400 construction jobs and upon completion more than 200 new employees will be added to the venue’s current 2,000-member team.