A $200 million expansion and the first Native-American-owned
Starbucks are only the beginning of an Indio Empire for
Springs Resort, a top executive vowed last week.
Springs Casino is no MGM Grand or Bellagio,"
but it appeals to Californians who don't want to spend
a lot of money, Chief Executive Officer James McKennon
area is growing and the casino plans to grow with it.
Coachella Valley permitted 20,000 new homes in 2004,"
Springs plans to add a 300- to 400-room hotel by 2010.
are in the offing. Resort plans include a shopping mall,
timeshares, an 18-hole golf course, a day spa and cultural
The Cabazon Band of Mission Indians, with 30 members,
employs 1,250 workers at Fantasy Springs Casino.
Fantasy Springs was negotiating with Starbucks Coffee
Co. in Seattle Jan. 31. The casino will house Starbuck's
first Native American coffee franchise, said Kevin Williams,
director of hotel operations and sales.
just heard the voicemail today that confirmed Starbucks
will come here," he said Jan. 31.The
Starbucks is slated to open in April.
Springs Jan. 13 opened a 12-story, 251-room hotel
and a 100,000-square-foot special events center; and added
44 slot machines to max out at 2,000 under its state compact.
casino added a 24-hour café, buffet and a steakhouse.
The casino boasts a 24-lane bowling alley built in 1999.
events center is designed to handle up to 4,000 people
for trade shows, meetings and banquets, Williams said.
Meeting rooms are equipped with wireless technology and
events center is booked for May with corporate events.
More than 15,000 people visited the casino Jan. 14--23
to see "Balagan," a Cirque du Soleil-style show.
new product brings new appeal to the area," said
Jane Brady, Palm Springs Desert Resorts Convention and
Visitors Authority director of tourism. "The casino
brings a different aspect to the areas usual attractions
such as golf and tennis. [Fantasy Springs] is a destination
because of its entertainment center and hotel. They can
go after larger groups now."
as part of a deal with the county of Riverside, Fantasy
Springs Casino will impose a visitors fee on hotel customers,
county in 2003 agreed to administer a $145 million tax-exempt
bond for the construction of the hotel, convention center
and parking garage.
exchange, the tribe paid the city of Coachella $3.4 million
for road enhancements at Vista Villa North in Coachella.
The tribe also agreed to pay $20 million over 18 years
to the county of Riverside with funds generated by a visitors
fee levied on hotel guests. The visitors fee is similar
to the transient occupancy tax hotels charge guests.
transient occupancy tax is levied on tourists who stay
at a hotel for 30 days or less. In Riverside County the
tax is about 10 percent and the casino's visitors fee
is about the same. The visitor's fee won't deter business,
Cabazon spokeswoman Nancy Conrad said. "The tribe
wanted to level the playing field with other hotels not
on the reservation because we want to work collectively
with local government, keep up good relations and keep
"We're here and we're not going anywhere. We're not
like most businesses where we can just pick up and leave.
We need to help the county of Riverside as much as they
need to help us."
Springs attracts most of its customers from California,
Williams said. The casino generated $28 million in economic
impact for the Coachella Valley. That number will increase
to $180 million by 2007 because of the expansion, Conrad