The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is looking to expand their properties across the valley. Which means, pretty soon, construction for hundreds of new hotel rooms and additional gaming space could be underway. The tribe is currently talking about the impact of of an expansion at their Rancho Mirage location that would add over 200,000 square feet, designated for 310 new hotel rooms, meeting areas, and gaming facilities among of things.
The announcement comes at a time when the tribe has been expanding its holdings around the valley, including an expansion to the spa resort casino in Palm Springs and a new venture in Cathedral City. Laura Turknette, visiting from Arroyo Grande says this is a move in the wrong direction.
“If I were living here I would certainly protest against having this lovely old town look be put into a condition of having multi-story and gaming casino in this area.”
Mostly because she says it is going to change the ambiance of the valley.
“Traffic, late night noise, the big building, it just seems to take away from the little community that it looks like here.”
In October, the tribe unveiled plans for a cultural center and spa, including an expanded Agua Caliente Cultural Museum, over the site of the tribe’s hot spring in downtown Palm Springs. The facility will feature 40,000 square feet of spa space and 48,000 square feet of gallery. In Cathedral City, they plan on using the 12.5 acres of empty space to build a new gaming center; while work in the palm springs area is set to be completed in 2020, there are still some concerns. Kyle Daley, a visitor from Oregon says a couple of things need to be flushed out before the project is fully underway.
“What’s the impact going to be on the environment, particularly with the construction? What’s the impact going to be on the community?”
However, Kyle says if they can figure that out, he’s all for the project.
“If it does bring more money to the community, I think I’d be all for that.”
The tribe will collect public input on the Rancho Mirage project until March 2nd, all in an effort to hear and address community concerns.