On September 15th, the Koi Nation unveiled plans to establish one of the biggest casino resorts in North Carolina – a gambling, accommodation and entertainment project worth $600 million.
The Koi Nation, which is a federally recognized tribe based in Sonoma County, shared that it intends to use 68-acre land situated about a half-mile away from Shiloh Ranch Regional Park into a casino that is to be called Shiloh Resort & Casino. In order to get the project up and running, the 90-member Pomo tribe will first have to get the approval of both federal and state authorities. As reported by representatives of the Native American nation, the tribe will probably need about 4 years for the construction and approval process.
Earlier this month, the tribe acquired the property from private owners, in a deal worth $12.3 million. Until then, most of its members were based in Sonoma County but did not own any land.
So far, the tribe’s plans for massive casino development have faced the opposition of local officials. The latter, however, acknowledged that the Kois would probably have authority to make decisions for the development of the property in case their land is given sovereign status by the Federal Government. On the other hand, Koi Nation leaders shared they will seek community members’ opinions about the project.
Sonoma County Officials Concerned About the Impact of the Proposed Casino Resort
The tribe also shared its expectations for the effect that the planned casino resort would have. According to Koi Tribe’s officials, the venue would help tribe members, many of who have been struggling to afford living in the North Bay, but will also serve as a financial boost for the rest of the community.
Darin Beltran, the chairman of the Koi Nation, has revealed in an interview that the main objective of the tribe was becoming economically independent.
If the recently unveiled casino resort is established, the Shiloh Resort & Casino would be the third Las Vegas-style gambling venue in Sonoma County. Two other casino resorts are operating in the county – the River Rock Casino of the Dry Creek Rancheria Band of Pomo Indians, which started operation in 2002, and a casino owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, which opened in 2013. As revealed by the Koi Nation yesterday, the planned casino resort would offer 2,500 slot and other gaming machines, with a 200-room hotel, a spa, a meeting center and an extensive dining area also featured by the project on a 12-million square-foot space.
As mentioned above, such a project would need the approval of both state and federal officials. At the time they unveiled the project, Koi Nation leaders shared they have already approached Sonoma County supervisors to discuss their plans, although nothing really depends on counties.
The impact that the casino resort project would have on the environment, traffic and public safety are among the key issues that have caused concerns among local officials and have been among the main reasons for the opposition faced by the two already existing tribal casinos that have been established in the county in the past couple of decades.