Pauma propose casino in San Diego County 8-07

PALA, Calif. (AP) – The Pauma Band of Mission Indians plans to replace its 1,090-slot casino in north San Diego County with a 23-story, 400-room hotel that would have twice as many slot machines.

The proposed $300-million dollar resort is a bid to compete against casinos operated by neighboring tribes such as Pala and Pechanga.

The 66-acre Pauma resort would replace an existing gambling hall, which will continue to operate out of large metal-framed tents during construction. The tribe hasn’t decided what to call the new casino or when it will open.

The proposed casino would feature 110,000 square feet of gambling space, with room for 2,500 slots, though the plan calls for it to open with 2,000.

Details of plans are in a draft environmental impact report, released Wednesday, that says the project would negatively affect traffic, air quality, noise and public safety, but finds that all those issues can be dealt with.

The head of a local planning group welcomed the tribe’s plans to improve state Route 76 by adding a traffic light and turning lanes at the reservation road leading to the casino.

“It all comes down to what can be done about Highway 76,” said Joe Chisholm, chairman of the Pala-Pauma Planning Group.

Information from: The San Diego Union-Tribune,