By 1988, the Indian Gaming Regulatory
Act was born and tribes across the nation
were allowed to develop gaming activities
in accordance with federal law.
Fast forward 30 years and there’s no
doubt about it: Native American gaming re-
sorts have come a very long way, so much so
that they are now on par with their high-end
counterparts in major gaming destinations
like Las Vegas and Atlantic City, as well as
top-tier resort destinations overall.
Having moved beyond the reputation
of being gaming-only properties, many of
these resorts not only offer unique group
venues and experiences, they tout high
AAA Diamond ratings and Forbes Travel
Guide Star ratings—and continue to strive
for ongoing stellar status.
The following resorts are just a few
Pechanga Resort & Casino,
Native American gaming properties in
the West that are significantly expand-
ing, upgrading and augmenting to offer
outstanding experiences for both leisure
travelers and meeting attendees.
Set in San Diego County’s Temecula Valley, home of the Luiseno Tribe, Pechanga
Resort & Casino was already a longtime
AAA Four Diamond property, but it just
got even better.
Last month, Pechanga became the newest, largest casino resort on the West Coast
when it unveiled its impressive $300 million expansion with a star-studded grand
opening featuring a concert by Steven
Tyler. The expansion includes a new AAA
Four Diamond hotel wing with 568 rooms
and suites, a stand-alone two-story spa
with 17 treatment rooms, a fitness center
and hydrotherapy pool terrace, a 4.5-acre
pool complex, two new restaurants and an
additional 70,000 square feet of function
space. The resort can now host events of up
to 3,000 people.
The origins of today’s $30 billion per year Native American casinos and resorts began with a married Chippewa couple in northern Minnesota refusing to pay an unjust property tax bill and a single
bingo hall in 1970s Seminole Tribal territory of Florida,
which led to one of the most remarkable Supreme Court
decisions in U.S. history: California v. Cabazon Band,
which was argued before the Supreme Court in 1987 and
delivered a landmark opinion in a 6-3 decision.
for the Stars
PECHANGA RESORT & CASINO,
BY TODD RAYMOND
Native American resorts are stepping up their game—beyond casinos