A 20-year deal worth $218 million with the Tejon Indian Tribe has been proposed by Kern County. Under the proposed agreement, the Tejon Indians would be able to provide various services and law enforcement at the $600-million casino and hotel venue which is planned to be opened in close proximity to Bakersfield in collaboration between the Tribe and Hard Rock International.
A vote on the deal by the county’s Board of Supervisors is set to take place on July 23rd. Reportedly, the agreement would include one-time payments of $13.3 million which would be used to fund building a new county fire and sheriff’s substation near the proposed location for the project. The funding will also be used for training academy and new equipment of a new deputy-sheriff.
The recurring payments which are expected to be made under the provisions of the proposed deal would cover funding for new jobs in sheriff’s and fire departments, along with a gambling treatment program.
If the proposed deal is approved by the Board of Supervisors in Kern County, the decision would be an important part of the Hard Rock’s and the tribe’s plan to establish a massive casino and hotel venue, featuring a 165,500-square-foot gambling facility and a 400-room hotel with a spa-fitness center, an entertainment venue, several dining areas and convention space. A 22-acre RV park, some tribal administrative offices, and a health care facility are also to be hosted.
The Casino and Hotel Establishment Would Bring Significant Economic Benefits to County
Yesterday, Kern County released a three-page summary of the proposed agreement. The summary reiterates previously revealed expectations that over 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs are to be created by the casino-hotel project. The projected yearly payroll is estimated at $60 million.
As pointed out in the summary, the project also contains a local-hiring provision which is to encourage the operators of the casino-hotel to make sure at least 50% of its employees originate from local communities. The tribal project is exempt from paying taxes. As revealed in the summary, the proposed deal’s purpose is to compensate Kern County for providing law enforcement, emergency and fire protection services at the site.
According to campaigners who have been lobbying in favor of the project, the establishment, which is set to be called the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tejon, is expected to bring considerable economic benefits and new entertainment services to Kern County. On the other hand, it would help the Tejon Indian Tribe create a new economic future for its members.
The casino and hotel project has managed to win the support from county officials, with the potential economic benefits for the community probably being the major attraction at that point. In the past, however, there has been sustained opposition to such projects, so the vote on July 23rd will see whether the construction process is to be given the green light or not.