Expansion in Store for San Diego Area Pala Casino Resort and Spa

Written By Janice Doughtrey

Pala Casino Resort and Spa will expand its California venue in a planned $170 million expansion, the resort recently announced. Located near San Diego, the Pala Casino Resort and Spa is owned and operated by the federally-recognized Native American tribe the Pala Band of Mission Indians.

If the expansion goes ahead as is currently planned, construction will begin in October of 2017 and be finished by May of 2019. New facilities will include a hotel tower with room for an additional 349 guests, an aquatic entertainment complex with more than one pool, and renovations of the existing casino facilities.

Robert Smith, who serves as the chairman of the Pala Band of Mission Indians, says that the planned expansion testifies to the fact that the Pala Casino Resort and Spa is a growing business located in a strong economy and a thriving California gaming industry.

Once the renovations have been completed, the resort will be able to offer more than 850 guest rooms in total. The casino, which currently covers 90,000 square feet of the casino and resort grounds, will be expanded to cover more than 102,000 square feet. That expanded gaming space will offer an estimated 88 gaming tables and 2,500 slot machines.

Pala Casino Resort and Spa’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Bill Bembenek stated about the expansion that the Pala band was looking forward to its third major renovation project since the band began taking part in the hospitality and gaming marketplace of Southern California. Bembenek said that the expansion would be unlike anything seen at other casinos, resorts, and spas in the area and would be of the highest standards. He went on to state that the amenities offered by the expanded resort, spa, and casino would provide guests with a world-class luxury experience.

The Pala Casino opened its doors on April 3, 2001 after beginning construction in March 2000. The resort and spa were added three years later. When the hotel opened, it could accommodate 500 guests. Currently, the Pala Casino Resort and Spa incorporates ten restaurants including a poolside bar and pizza, sushi, and coffee options. The resort has a designated wedding area, the Pala Events Center, and the Palomar Starlight Theater.

The resort and casino are located on the Pala Indian Reservation in San Diego County. Covering more than 52 square kilometers, the reservation is the permanent home to about 1,600 members of the tribal band governed by a 6-member committee. The reservation is also used for the cultivation of avocados. Avocado farming, hospitality, and gaming proceeds help the tribal band fund education, housing, and emergency services for its members as well as helping to expand the tribal cemetery lands.