Chukchansi Expansion Complete

August 1, 2008 10:00:38 PM PDT
Chukchansi Casino has upped the stakes in the heated battle for your entertainment buck. With its 100-million dollar expansion, the resort wants to be known as a getaway destination. Harold Hammond offered blessings for his tribe as it begins a new era. Five years after opening, Chukchansi Casino unveiled its brand new 11-story hotel tower. Guests got their first look.

Ernie Stevens of the National Indian Gaming Association said "Today as we experience what we are, this really shows victory to our ancestors, where we come from and all the things we've overcome."

Chukchansi's Picayune tower adds 174 new rooms, none more impressive than the chairman's suite, which is set aside for high-profile guests only. It combines luxury and a stunning view.

Tribal secretary Joe Alberta said "It's something we needed. Something Indian country needs. We have to diversify a little bit. It's not just gaming. "

The resort is looking to attract visitors who just want to be pampered. A brand new spa for both men and women offers massages, facials and pedicures. Madera County Supervisor Vern Moss said "We'll bring tourists here so they can look at all the beauty that we have up here which will also help our financial base."

The great outdoors is a constant theme here. Alberta said "It kind of brings back the look of Yosemite in the area around here."

Guests will be able to take a swim in the new indoor-outdoor pool. It is a sparkling addition.

Fresno Mayor Alan Autry thanked Tribal Chair Morris Reid for investing in the downtown stadium and said the entire community benefits from this expansion, Autry said "It's gonna create 1500 new jobs. In today's economic climate that is an unbelievable addition."

Some of those new hires will work in the new Italian restaurant, which is one of the more scenic spots to enjoy a meal.

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