You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

New Amador County casino plans for grand opening

KCRA Sacramento logo KCRA Sacramento 4/17/2019
a screenshot of a video game: - © KCRA 3 -

A new casino will open this month in Amador County.

Harrah’s Northern California is in the city of Ione off Highway 88. Caesars Entertainment partnered with the Buena Vista Rancheria Me-Wuk Indians to build the new casino.

The casino will open to the public at 4:29 p.m. April 29 to pay homage to Louie Oliver, a tribal ancestor with the same birthday. The casino restaurant will also be named after him.

“I would describe this as kind of modern but also fitting in with the landscape -- so we’re not big and flashy outside,” said Lisa Yahrling with Harrah’s Northern California. “I think it really fits in with the laid back and relaxed feeling of Amador County.”

The 71,000-square-foot property will have 20 tables and just under 1,000 slot machines. A hotel is not on the property but is being planned in the future.

In addition to construction crews, Yahrling said the casino is employing roughly 500 full-time employees, 80% of whom are from surrounding communities.

State records show it will join the largest employers in Amador County, behind Jackson Rancheria Casino and Mule Creek State Prison.

“I’m glad they’re adding jobs. They need them up here,” resident Jack Toupe said. “I know there’s going to be a lot of people from other towns coming in, but that’s alright, we don’t care. The traffic is going to be crazy.”

Traffic has been a main criticism of the casino in a largely rural countryside.

“I’m actually from LA,” resident Geri Christopher said. “What brought me to this area was quietness. So that’s what I’m hoping -- that it still stays quiet.”

The nearby Buena Vista Market Store and Saloon is already benefiting from the increase in business from construction crews and is looking forward to the incoming visitors.

“We stay very busy. We get a lot of the construction workers eating here for lunch and we’re excited about it,” owner Charlene Robinson said. “Some people are all for it, some people aren’t for it because it’s countryside out here, and there’s going to be a lot more traffic now. So there’s mixed feelings.”

Yahrling said the casino is adding two stop lights to mitigate Hwy. 88 traffic, and is expanding roads.

“It’s going to be crazy,” Toupe said. “They’re putting a stoplight on Hwy. 88, thank God, to stop accidents. Because we’ve had a lot of accidents on Hwy. 88 in the last couple years.”

A new Cal Fire station was also built outside the entrance for the community. The casino is also working with Ione Police Department to increase patrols during peak hours.

“Right now, we have a total of seven full-time people,” police Sgt. Jeff Arnold said. “So it’s a small department.”

An opening celebration event is planned during the weekend of May 17.

READ MORE:New Amador County casino plans for grand opening

CHECK OUT KCRA:Stay informed. Get the latest Modesto, Stockton and Sacramento news and weather from the KCRA news team.



KCRA Sacramento
KCRA Sacramento
image beaconimage beaconimage beacon