TWENTYNINE PALMS, Calif. -

A brand new casino is celebrating its grand opening. Tortoise Rock Casino is opening its doors in Twentynine Palms, the first casino ever to open in the high desert.
   
"So far the community has been extremely supportive, cooperative and excited that we're coming up here, and I couldn't ask for a better welcoming," said Tortoise Rock Casino General Manager Tom Sedlock.

After nearly 4 years of planning and 10 months of construction, the casino operated by the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians is a brand new hot spot for locals to enjoy.

"The community, they keep saying that there is little to do here, so we're very happy to be providing them with some more entertainment and give the community something to do and rally around and give back to them," Sedlock said.
 
The casino is helping boost its local economy by creating 160 full and part-time positions.

"Well, I think its exciting for the people who live here to be able to have the jobs that its generating and all of the tax dollars that it'll bring into the community," said Betsy Hayes, guest at the grand opening celebration.
     
Tortoise Rock Casino is located near Joshua Tree National Park and the Twentynine Palms military base. The 30,000 square foot casino offers more than 490 vegas style slot machines and seven table games that include blackjack and poker. It also includes a lounge with live entertainment and offers casual dining at the Oasis Grille.
     
"We build it with the locals in mind. We have a lot of affordable gaming here, poker tables for the military guys and we have a nice lounge for them to come into. We're going to be keep our prices down, make it affordable and relaxing for the community," Sedlock said.

He is also hoping they can benefit by luring Coachella Valley casino customers to the new high desert venue.  

"It's a beautiful location and think its going to work our really well for them," Hayes said.