Club One Casino relocation plans pushed back a month for community outreach

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Club One Casino will have to wait at least another month to open its new space in Granite Park.

The Fresno City Council heard a lot of support for the casino's relocation from employees and ownership, but there's still a small snag.

When it's up and running, Club One generates enough business to pay out about $700,000 in payroll and $100,000 in tax revenue for the city every month.

But it closed the downtown location when it couldn't operate during the pandemic.

The plan now is to open in Granite Park, in the former Cabo Wabo night club location.

The casino's employees and supporters gathered at City Hall Thursday to convince council members to clear the path for opening the new location.

"I have been unemployed for 17 months now and this pandemic has been very difficult for me and my family," said Aya Fernandez, who said she's worked for Club One for 15 years. "I hope you can find it in your hearts to make Club One Casino open up so I can continue to provide for my family."

Council members and neighbors had some questions about the move, though.

Granite Park is close to some schools and Fresno Unified expressed opposition.

Kids also play sports at the complex.

Plus, a lot of people wonder if there's a good plan to accommodate parking.

"It would be irresponsible for the city not to ask questions: 'Hey, is this the right thing for this community?'," said casino owner Kyle Kirkland. "We look at this and say we've been safe, responsible operators for 25 years. We've peacefully coexisted with our community. We understand how to keep minors out of our facility."

Kirkland thought he addressed all the potential issues, but the new location is in Councilmember Tyler Maxwell's district.

He says he weighed the pros and cons, and the biggest "con" he saw was a lack of outreach to neighbors around Granite Park.

"I'm still getting phone calls from folks finding out 'There's a casino going up across the street? Why have I not heard about this?'," Maxwell said.

Kirkland says they reached out to other businesses, but haven't done any door-to-door outreach.

Maxwell postponed a vote until the casino makes those efforts, which Kirkland said they'll finish in time for the council's next meeting on August 19th.

He says they can open within three weeks of getting council approval.
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