Bakersfield · Business

Hard Rock Tejon? New Valley casino closer to reality. Here’s why.

A proposed Hard Rock hotel and casino in Kern County near Mettler is at the goal-line to receive final approval from the state. 

Last week the state legislature passed Senate Bill 910, which ratified the gaming compact between the state and the Tejon Indian Tribe. 

Gov. Newsom will now consider signing the bill and granting the tribe the final necessary approval, a likely action considering Newsom signed the compact in June, agreeing with the U.S. Secretary of Interior’s determination that the 320 acres of land is eligible for gaming. 

Assuming Newsom signs SB 910, the Department of Interior will launch a 45-day review of the deal, the final hurdle in the proposal. 

“It’s an honor to co-author legislation which will finally give long-deserved recognition to the people of the Tejon tribe,” said Sen. Shannon Grove (R–Bakersfield) in a statement. 

“SB 910 will ratify a tribal-state compact that will greatly benefit both the Tejon tribe and Kern County with nearly 5,000 jobs, live entertainment and conventions spaces that will bring exciting growth to the area.” 

The hotel and casino will sit on 52 acres of the land, while the remaining 268 acres will be used for tribal administrative offices, a tribal healthcare facility, housing and other supporting infrastructure. 

It is expected to cost $600 million and will house 400 hotel rooms over 11 stories. 

The 166,500-square foot casino will have 3,000 slot machines, and Hard Rock expects the annual payroll to be around $59 million. 

“Both Hard Rock International and the Tejon Tribe leadership are working diligently to start construction,” Hard Rock said in a statement. “While we do not have a definitive date, we are working steadfastly to get the project open. It will take at least 20 months from the groundbreaking to the grand opening.”

Daniel Gligich is a reporter for The San Joaquin Valley Sun, focusing on Fresno State Athletics and the southern San Joaquin Valley. Email him at daniel.gligich@sjvsun.com.