It was a big day for members of the Paskenta Band of Nomlaki Indian Tribe as they gathered Saturday, Nov. 2 at Rolling Hills Casino to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the tribe’s official restoration as a sovereign entity by the federal government.
The event was also host to the tribe’s groundbreaking for a multi-million dollar project to expand and remodel its Rolling Hills Casino with additional new restaurants, a brewery and distillery, state-of-the art meeting facility, 40 percent larger slot floor, design upgrades to both The Lodge at Rolling Hills and The Inn at Rolling Hills.
Along with tribal members, several members of the community, such as Corning Mayor Doug Hatley and Tehama County Supervisor Bob Williams attended the ceremony, as did members of Yates Construction which will team up with JCJ for architecture and engineering of the expansion project.
Also attending were members of Rolling Hills Casino administration and management, such as General Manager Steve Neely, who explained the expansion will include the transformation of the current Carlino’s Room into a Rock and Brew Restaurant which will be adjacent to the new brewery and distillery, a Fatburgers Restaurant, Aroma’s Coffee Shop moved to a new location in the casino, expansion of the slot floor by 40 percent, and expansion for a new, larger meeting/conference room.
“The entire facility will be transformed and redone to first class,” Neely said.
He introduced Tribal Chairman Andrew “Dru” Alejandre who thanked everyone for attending the ceremony and supporting the tribe.
“It is a great honor to share this special day with all of you as we mark the 25th anniversary of the tribe’s restoration,” he said. “Since then we have been working very hard as a tribe to bring strength, resources and opportunities to this community and our people and for future generations as well.”
He went on to add a thank you to all those who have supported the tribe and its endeavors over the years during the good times and the tough times.
“To our community, thank you for embracing us as a tribe,” Alejandre said. “And for allowing us to be a part of this great community, for the partnerships to make this community stronger as we utilize diverse resources.”
Damon Safranek, tribal CEO, said the groundbreaking and anniversary ceremony was a key moment and confluence of events for the tribe which is in the business “of not building buildings, but building communities.”
The event started with traditional tribal music performed on the flute, followed by a ceremonial prayer and blessing provided by the tribe’s cultural committee.
The groundbreaking had to be held indoors due to uncertainty about the weather with golden shovels used by tribal members, city and county officials, tribal elders and administration, and project officials to “break ground” in dirt contained in a large wooden constructed box.
Guest were provided samples from Fatburgers, drinks, and other refreshments.
The backdrop of the entire event were large pictures displaying renderings of the renovation and expansion project, including pictures of the new entrance, restaurants, brewery and conference/meeting facility.
Neely said the renovation will also include the casino’s parking lot for easier access and parking.