[toc]Harrah’s Southern California remodeled and rebranded. Pechanga is in the midst of a massive expansion. Viejas Casino is wrapping its sprucing up too.
Now it is Pala Casino’s turn for a new look. The Temecula-area casino recently announced a $170 million expansion project. The project will take a little less than two years to complete.
Expansion includes new hotel tower, more non-gaming amenities
The largest piece of the expansion is a new hotel tower. The building will add 349 rooms to the property, bringing the total number of rooms to 854. Additionally, Pala is remodeling the pool to expand it into an entertainment facility. There will also be a parking garage expansion and a major revision of the site’s restaurant promenade.
There will be some gaming expansion too. Pala Casino is adding 12,000 square feet of gaming space. The property will use that new space to house 2,500 new slot machines.
Robert Smith, Chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians spoke about the expansion in a press release:
“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. This is a significant milestone for our Tribe and we look forward to continuing to exceed the expectations of our loyal patrons.”
Southern California casinos spending over $1 billion renovating
With the latest Pala renovation, the total sum of money Southern California casinos are spending on this recent round of renovations now exceeds $1 billion. Most projects are similar to Pala, in that the focus is on the resort moreso than the casino. These casinos aspire to be vacation destinations, not just a place to stop and gamble.
In an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, Pala Casino CEO Bill Bembenek explained why now was the time to remodel and expand:
“We’ve come out on the other side (of the Great Recession), the economy has healed and people are looking for ways to spend their recreational dollars. Casinos have to stay on top of their game.”
Bembenek also claimed the expansion is not a case of keeping up with the other casinos. Rather, he says it is about adding rooms to address guest demand.
Once all these rooms get added though, one has to wonder if the glut of casino resorts in the area will be too many for Southern California to handle.
Pala expanding in New Jersey as well
Unlike other California tribal casinos though, Pala is not just expanding on the ground. The casino is also growing its online presence in New Jersey.
Pala partnered with Borgata to use the New Jersey casino’s online gaming license to launch PalaCasino, PalaPoker, and PalaBingo.
Now there is a new affiliate of sorts for PalaCasino. The recently launched ScoresCasino and ScoresPoker site are under the Pala umbrella, but are branded featuring the famous gentlemen’s club brand.
The Scores sites might bring in some new customers to Pala. It also gives the Pala online casino software another platform. The lauded casino platform can now show how seamlessly it skins, which might draw even more partners to Pala.