A few hours before opening their doors to the public, tribal representatives and members of the Hard Rock team held a ceremonial guitar smash to commemorate the new hotel and casino’s opening in Yuba County (but don’t worry, guitar aficionados, the instruments were Squiers).
The grand opening of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain marked the end of a 17-year struggle for the Enterprise Rancheria tribe to establish its own casino. The tribe based in Oroville teamed up with the Seminole Tribe of Florida, owners of Hard Rock International, to bring the global chain to the Yuba-Sutter area.
“This is absolutely a fabulous day for our tribe and for this community and for every single person that has been involved over the last 17 years,” said Glenda Nelson, tribal chairperson for Enterprise Rancheria. “We really, as a tribe, have stood for our sovereign rights and we stand for the sovereign rights of all the Native American people and tribes in the United States of America.”
Nelson said it’s been a “match made in heaven” having the two tribes from opposite sides of the country working together toward a common goal. She said the tribe’s family has grown throughout the process with all of the people who have helped along the way, and having Hard Rock International come on board was just icing on the cake.
Construction of the $440 million facility has been ongoing for 15 months. The hotel portion of the facility includes 169 rooms.
The gaming facility has 1,587 slot machines, 57 table games, an event center, six restaurants and memorabilia from some of rock n’ roll’s most famous icons spread throughout the facility.
Mark Birtha, president of the local Hard Rock facility, said of the more than 30,000 applications they received, his team hired a total of 1,300 employees.
“It is a wonderful facility that offers a really unique destination-hospitality experience here in the market place,” Birtha said. “…More importantly, we made a commitment to hire locally, and that’s exactly what we did. Seventy percent of our band members come from right here in the Yuba-Sutter counties, which is a tremendous statistic and something we are very, very proud of.
“At the same time, we have a number of partnerships here locally, from wine producers to food producers and some of the farms in the nearby region that we are very carefully partnering with to offer those amenities and services on our menus and our retail store, the Rock Shop, and all across our property.”
With the facility located so closely to the Toyota Amphitheatre, some have raised concerns over how the roadways in the area will handle the influx of traffic. Birtha said aside from a widening project that has already been completed along Forty Mile Road, his team is working with local law enforcement and officials to develop plans on how to best handle the traffic during big event nights.
As for outside interest in the Sports and Entertainment Zone where the new facility located, Nelson said they expect the opening of the hotel and casino to be the economic engine that drives development in the area.
“This means so much to us. It’s just the beginning of all the great things we plan to do here,” Nelson said. “Now, we get to fulfill the promises we made to our tribe members and the community.”
Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain is located at 3317 Forty Mile Road, Wheatland.