Two years in the making, the US$260M hotel and resort expansion is now open in San Diego
Leaders and elders of the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation gathered at the end of March to celebrate the occasion with a ribbon cutting ceremony on the eve of the Grand Opening, which included invited media and guests like San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
Martinez, said, leading the ceremony: “On behalf of the Sycuan Band, welcome to Sycuan Casino Resort,” and further thanked the tribal elders for taking the gamble to open a Bingo Palace in 1983, which formed the foundation for stages of gaming entertainment expansion through 35 years. “And now, over 250 tribal members depend on this economic engine,” Martinez added.
“Just two years ago, we broke ground and committed to becoming the premier gaming destination in San Diego County and today we delivered on that promise,” said Cody J. Martinez, chairman, Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation. “This project would not have been possible without the support and vision of the Sycuan people, our team members and the incredible construction effort by Swinerton Builders. This is a historic and momentous day for Sycuan and we are extremely proud to see this one-of-a-kind project become a reality.”
Martinez detailed the economic benefits of the just-completed resort, including over 3,000 workers involved in building the project. Initially set to cost US$226 million, the total investment in the expansion came in at US$260 million. The California Clean Air Project recognized the expansion as a 100 percent smoke-free facility, providing healthier indoor entertainment. (The exception will be the self-contained high stakes Poker Room.)
The newly expanded resort features a 12-story luxury hotel tower with over 300 guest rooms and 57 suites. The property also boasts state-of-the-art amenities including an expanded gaming area, new restaurants and bars, meeting and event space, a full-service spa and fitness center and a pool and gardens area, and a lengthy lazy river. Sycuan has also made many improvements to the existing property including new flooring, paint, furniture and several other cosmetic upgrades.
“This is our coming of age,” Martinez said. “This is a momentous and historic occasion.”
Faulconer praised the expansion as a magnificent facility, citing how the enterprise really benefits the regions all around San Diego County. “This has been a labor of love, and it shows,” he said.
When John Dinius, Sycuan Casino Resort general manager, took to the podium, he said, “I am honoured to be here. I have never been more proud of this organization. This all comes back to the team. The past two years have been very challenging.
“We have undertaken a number of renovations and expansions over the years, but nothing that compares to the size and scope of this project,” added Dinius.
“This significant $260M investment is an investment in Sycuan but will also directly benefit East County in San Diego and set a new bar for gaming, entertainment and dining options available throughout the region.” Dinius noted that the all-new casino resort is of benefit to all of East County, with over 850 new team members added to the employment rolls, and more to come in coming days.
Ten new restaurants and bars
Sycuan has tremendously enhanced its food and beverage offerings with the addition of 10 new restaurants and bars. The new venues include a new casino-defining steakhouse: Bull & Bourbon, a high-end cocktail lounge: Elicit Bar & Lounge, a three-meal restaurant: Viewpoint Neighborhood Kitchen, an industrial tap house: Rank & File, a fast-casual market: The unCommons and the popular coffeehouse: Starbucks.
To bring The unCommons fast-casual market to life, Sycuan has partnered with several iconic San Diego brands including Phil’s BBQ, Hodad’s, The Hangry Slice, Lucha Libre Gourmet Taco Shop and Luna Grill.
Sycuan’s new fine dining venue, Bull and Bourbon brings an innovative approach to traditional steakhouse cuisine. Executive Chef, Aldo Negrete sources local coastal California seafood, uses steaks from the restaurant’s in-house butcher program and select cuts from the on-site aging room. Guests can enjoy steaks prepared on a custom wood burning grill paired with bourbon from a hand-selected menu for a multi-sensory dining experience.
Additionally, Sycuan has added a variety of recreational facilities including an outdoor pool venue: Retreat Pool and Cabanas, a luxury spa and salon: Spa Ritual and a 24-hour fully equipped fitness center.
Retreat Pool and Cabanas features two pools, a swim-up bar, an immense lazy river and an expansive pool deck furnished with oversized daybeds and cabanas. The poolside menu features seasonal bites and a full bar serving fresh mojitos, margaritas and champagne-infused cocktails.
Spa Ritual is a full-service luxury spa and salon with eight treatment rooms and a variety of spa services. The spa and salon menu offers body treatments, facials, massages, manicures and pedicures and more. The facility also features a steam room, dry sauna and a co-ed relaxation lounge with complimentary refreshments.
Sycuan also boasts 42,000 square feet of flexible indoor and outdoor space, designed to accommodate every special event and both small-to-large sized groups. Each venue is equipped with the latest technology to deliver one-of-a-kind experiences and the chef-driven catering menus will offer multiple food and drink packages and can be custom-tailored for each event.