It's been 20 years in the making.

The groundbreaking of the new Eagle Mountain Casino to be relocated in Porterville just south and adjacent to the Porterville Sports Complex will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Numerous City of Porterville, Eagle Mountain Casino, Tule River Tribe and Indian Gaming Commission dignitaries will be at the groundbreaking.

The groundbreaking is the culmination of a 20-year effort to relocate the casino. Eagle Mountain has set the fall of 2022 for the relocated casino to be open.

Eventually there are plans to also continue phase II of construction in which a hotel will be placed at the site.

In December Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs Tara Katuk Sweeney approved the fee-to-trust application for the Tule River Tribe to relocate Eagle Mountain Casino to Porterville. The fee-to-trust application was the final step in the process for the relocated Eagle Mountain Casino to be built on the 40-acre site on the Tule River Tribe land.

The fee-to-trust application process took more than four years itself as the Tule River Tribe submitted the fee-to-trust application in September, 2016.

It was a long time in coming,” Eagle Mountain Casino Public Relations Events Manager Rachel Perry said. “Over 20 years.”

The Tule River Tribe submitted its fee-to-trust application in September 2016 and has spent 20 years preparing for the relocation of Eagle Mountain Casino.

The relocation will lead to an expansion of the casino to generate revenue for tribal government services and to build new tribal housing. The relocation of the casino will also allow the Tribe to use its limited water supply more efficiently. The Tribe will also construction a water reclamation facility that will improve the city's water supply.

The Tribe plans to use its current casino location for government services once the new casino is completed.

It's estimated the annual net economic impact for Tulare County from the new casino will be $103.6 million in direct revenue, $19.3 million in indirect revenue, and $14.8 million in revenue from employee spending. 

 The casino project is expected to eventually generate 400 construction jobs and 300 or more full-time and part-time casino jobs.

A payroll of $80.3 million is expected to be created from construction. A total of 1,075 jobs is expected to be created and a net increase of 790 jobs is expected.

The project will generate approximately $34.6 million in wages in Tulare County, consisting of $23 million in direct wages, $7.2 million in indirect wages, and $4.3 million in induced wages.

Eventually the relocated casino is proposed to include a 250-room hotel, 29,000 square feet, 29,000 square feet of convention space, a sports bar, restaurant, buffet and food court, entertainment lounge and 1,700 seat entertainment center.

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