Bakersfield

A 392,500 square foot casino-resort is in the works near Bakersfield, here’s what we know

Kern County should prepare for a new Indian casino and resort arriving soon.

A new, planned casino and resort from the Tejon Indian Tribe is now under review with the Bureau of Indian Affairs as it attempts to get the project approved.

The site is located outside of Bakersfield, just west of Mettler.

What’s the proposed project?

The Tejon tribe, which was federally recognized as sovereign in 2012, is taking its casino project as a launchpad for reestablishing a sovereign footprint within Kern County.

Currently, the tribe has no sovereign land recognized by the Federal government. The tribe’s Vegas-led corporate arm

The casino-resort is part of an expansive, long-term plan to construct residential development for members of the tribe along with tribal administration on the same site as the casino.

In sum, the proposed project pencils out as such:

  • 166,500 square feet of casino floor space
  • 226,000 square feet of hotel space, equating to 400 hotel rooms
  • 73,300 square feet of restaurant space
  • 38,000 square feet of retail space
  • 53,000 square feet of meeting rooms
  • 4,500 parking spaces

What does the Bureau say?

The Bureau of Indian Affairs completed what it calls a “scoping report” which is the first step in an environmental review of the project.

The report highlights some of the considerations the Bureau will have to take into account when preparing its final environmental impact statement and forming its recommendation to the Department of Interior regarding approval.

The scoping report identified a number of factors worth considering – many of which are typical of environemtnal reviews. However, some unique concerns were an uptick in crime and noise in the area, due to the casino’s presence.

The report also included a listing of written comments submitted by groups and members of the public. Based on our review, all written comments submitted were opposed to the project.

What’s next?

According to The Bakersfield Californian, the Bureau of Indian Affairs is targeting December 31 as its timetable to complete its draft environmental impact statement.

From there, the public will have opportunity to comment on the statement before a recommendation is made.

Alex Tavlian
Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at alex.tavlian@sjvsun.com.

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