California voters rejected an off-reservation tribal casino plan in the Central Valley, but now two Indian bands are proposing proposals have now surfaced to build a casino on Mare Island.
If approved, the casinos are expected to create thousands of jobs and contribute $10 million to $20 million to the city’s economy.
p>Proposals suggest that the casinos would be built on the Northeastern side of the Mare Island, turning 157-aces of weeds and asphalt into a playground consisting of 3,000 slot machines, hotel rooms, shops, concert venues, and high-end restaurants. If approved, the casino complex would be the biggest in Northern California.
Last week, the 130-member Elem Indian Colony and the 50-member Koi Nation rolled out their plans at the city council meeting. More than 200 people gathered in support and opposition of the plan. While some residents called the plan exciting, others believed that the casino was too big for the city.
Mayor Osby Davis said he was excited because these proposals show the economical hump the city has been able to overcome since claiming bankruptcy in 2011. However, he did note that it is still too early in the process for a decision to be made.
However, many were concerned about the federal hurdles that could arise since both tribes would have to have that area of Mare Island federally designated as its land. Such a decision would mean a tiny Indian nation would be on the waterfront of Vallejo, and that idea, both physically and politically, seems to be a stretch.
Both tribes say they want to be in Vallejo and as long as federal officials to designate the land as tribal territory, many of the questions will subside. The Elem have not solidified a developer yet but The Koi have retained Cordish Co. of Maryland, a company known for building casinos around the nation.
The City Council also heard of xix other development proposals for Mare Island at last week’s city council meeting. The council will hear more details about all eight projects in December and is looking to begin serious negotiations on one project by early 2015.