Persistence pays off for California tribe with a Hard Rock casino hotel near Sacramento
The Estom Yumeka Maidu Tribe of the Enterprise Rancheria never lost hope in the 17 years that it took to persuade the state and federal governments that the tribe indeed met the criteria to open a casino in California.
And the end of that road arrived in late October, when the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain debuted to rave reviews.
And to make it all the more sweeter, the tribe employed another tribe, the Seminoles of Florida, to help build and operate the casino.
“This project is the first of its kind, with two tribes joining together to bring this integrated resort to life,” Enterprise Chairwoman Glenda Nelson said at the grand opening.
Persistence pays “We are proud of our partnership with Hard Rock and the Seminole Tribe, and we are enthusiastic to continue collaborating to provide guests with an unparalleled entertainment destination experience.”
Mark Birtha, the highly respected gaming executive chosen by Seminole Gaming to lead the Sacramento project, said it was a very emotional day.
“The tribal members were literally pinching themselves,” he said.
“This is something that they have been dreaming about, and to see it come to life has been extraordinary.
“We could see how excited the tribe was to have an internationally recognized brand added to the mix,” she says.
“This was a huge turning point for them, and allowed them to see where they were going to be able to position themselves inside of that market.
We knew it was real once that relationship was built.”
Persistence pays Luckily for Friedmutter, they already had a relationship with Seminole. Joe Emanuele, Hard Rock’s senior vice president of design and construction, once worked for Friedmutter, so the respect is mutual.
Bob Dollar, senior vice president with Friedmutter, says it was the perfect fit. “We consider ourselves to be an extension of Hard Rock,” he says.
“We try to work almost as their in-house architects and designers. We listen to them. We go to all their meetings. We’re hearing the program and the design direction evolve as it’s happening.”
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