Bakersfield · Business

Kern County agrees to $218mil pact for Tejon Hard Rock Casino

The Kern County Supervisors inked a deal with the Tejon Indian Tribe to cover public safety services for the tribe’s prospective Hard Rock Hotel and Casino planned near Mettler.

The deal – known as an intergovernmental agreement – totals just shy of $218 million in revenue for Kern County over a 20-year lifespan.

With the funds, Kern County could hire 12 additional officers and a clerk for the Kern County Sheriff’s Office to provide services, along with funding $10 million toward a new Sheriff’s substation, a memo on the deal states.

It would also translate to the hiring of 4 additional personnel for the Kern County Fire Department, a ladder truck, and a wildland fire truck.

In sum, the contribution the Tejon tribe will send to Kern County for the cost of new public safety personnel totals $5.37 million each year.

Add on property taxes and an annual capital outlay for Sheriff and Fire services, Tejon will to pony up $7.4 million annually.

The tribe would also have to pay a 6 percent room occupancy fee for its hotel, with an estimated additional revenue of $911,000 each year.

The Tejon Tribe is currently working through the long process of receiving Federal approval from the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to commence construction on 52 acres of its 306-acre reservation outside of Mettler.

However, an intergovernmental deal with Kern County undoubtedly serves as a shot-in-the-arm as the BIA prepares its full environmental impact report and recommendation for the Department of Interior.

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