Tribe announces casino in Twentynine Palms

Groundbreaking is set for February on high desert casino expected to bring 100 full-time jobs

TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. - The Native American tribe that owns Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella will open another casino in Twentynine Palms, it was announced Monday.

The Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians expects to break ground in February on Tortoise Rock Casino, a 30,000-square-foot "boutique" casino, between Joshua Tree National Park and the Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center, casino spokeswoman Lisa Herman said.

Tortoise Rock will have 500 slot machines, five table games and two poker tables. The casino will have "eco-friendly" landscaping, recycling and water-reclamation features. It will take approximately nine months to build, Herman said.   It will cost as much as $1.4 million for construction worker wages alone.

The casino will offer 30,000 square feet of gaming, retail, dining, entertainment, and office space.

The tribe says the project will infuse the local economy with a welcome boost in construction, retail, and gaming employment, as well as an increase in tourism.

"We have taken great care to design a beautiful casino property that will only add to the community as a whole, said Darrell Mike, chairman of the Twenty-Nine Palms Band of Mission Indians. "Not only are we using local contractors during construction, but Tortoise Rock will offer long-term stability in the Twentynine Palms community, with more than 100 full-time jobs expected to be filled within the next year."

Information on the project and employment will be posted at http://www.tortoiserockcasino.com.

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