While Pala Casino Breaks Ground, Valley View Casino Breaks News

earth mover and soil

Just when it seemed like the escalating war of casino expansions was slowing down in Southern California, they sped right back up again.

This week, Pala Casino break ground on its new expansion project. Additionally, Valley View Casino announced it too will be undergoing a pricey renovation.

Pala Casino breaks ground on $170 million expansion

Pala Casino’s new construction project is the third one since the tribal California casino first opened in 2001. This latest one will cost $170 million. It also won’t be finished until May 2019.

The exapnsion includes:

  • A new hotel tower with 349 rooms
  • An expanded spa
  • An aquatic entertainment center
  • Expanded gaming floor
  • Parking garage

In addition to the expansion, Pala management is updating and upgrading the casino’s interior. Pala Casino CEO Bill Bembenek explained the thought process behind the changes:

“Pala was really the first property in Southern California to offer a complete casino resort experience. All of our competitors have elevated their game and the challenge with this expansion is not meeting the existing expectations of our guests, it’s exceeding them.”

“Our guests are very discerning. We’re adding new elements and there essentially isn’t going to be an inch of the existing property that will be untouched,” he said. “It’s been a high-volume property for 17 years that has served us well and it’s time.”

Even with the expansion, Pala will still only be the third-largest casino in the San Diego area. Both Harrah’s Southern California and Pechanga Casino are larger. Plus, Pechanga just finished an even larger expansion.

Over the past few years, San Diego-area casinos have collectively spent more than $1 billion on renovations and expansion. And that number is about to get even bigger.

Valley View announces $50 million construction project

The same day Pala broke ground, the smaller Valley View casino announced plans to expand as well. The $50 million project will expand the casino floor by 42,000 square feet. Construction also includes a new restaurant and a resdesigned front entrance.

In a statement about the project, San Pasqual Casino Development Group President and CEO Joe Navarro expressed high hopes for the future:

“It’s exciting to see our casino grow and continue to evolve. The improvements we are making to Valley View Casino & Hotel in the coming year will enhance the experience for all of our guests that have been with us since the beginning as well as for our new guests visiting us for the first time.”

The casino is in the Valley Center area, which means it is in direct competition with some of these bigger, fancier properties. Unlike its competition, which is focusing on adding accomodations, Valley Center is focusing on offering more gaming options.

However, with the escalating expansion war, you have to wonder if all of these casinos will be able to end up better off after everything is said and done.

Jessica Welman

About

A graduate of USC and Indiana University, Jessica Welman has long been involved in the poker industry. She has worked as a tournament reporter for the World Poker Tour, co-hosted a podcast for Poker Road, and as the managing editor for WSOP.com.