Jackson Rancheria Casino in resortwide makeover 

Despite the slow economy, Jackson Rancheria Casino and Hotel is quietly spending tens of millions of dollars on a remake of its property.

“We’re not expanding,” Chief Executive Officer Rich Hoffman said, “we’re refreshing the property in phases so it doesn’t interrupt business.

“We haven’t dodged the economy’s bullet. But we’ve been affected to a lesser degree than the other businesses in the region. We’re off 10 percent in ’09 compared to ’08. We’re certainly feeling the effect.”

Jackson’s 100-space RV park, given a rating of 29.5 out of 30 in its first two years by the Good Sam Club, was just awarded a perfect 30, Hoffman said.

“We’re one of three RV parks in the country to have received a 30,” Hoffman said. “It’s a really great park.”

In the remodel, the “skin” of the casino will lose its theme of a 1900s-era small town, and be remade with a more timeless arts and crafts design. The portico and lobby entrances will be redone and the interior updated.

Remodeling the hotel, banquet and concert area and casino should be complete by August. There will be new table games, a new cage and high-limit area, and a new area for the players club.

In the second phase, Jackson’s flagship Raging River Restaurant will move from the hotel to a second-story location over the casino.

Part of the property will become a “mini, nonsmoking casino,” Hoffman said. “It will have a good selection of slots, poker and a small 250-seat venue for bingo.”

The casino is celebrating its 25th year of operation. It is owned and operated by the Jackson Rancheria Band of Mi-Wuk Indians. Besides the hotel, casino, parking garage and RV park, the property includes five restaurants offering a range of cuisine, a general store and gas station. The Jackson casino, off state Highway 49 about 45 miles southeast of Sacramento, opened in 1991 as a bingo hall, and has expanded to become Amador County’s largest private employer, with about 1,500 workers.

Last week, Jackson Rancheria became the largest corporate sponsor of Sacramento Pride, helping support programs and services of the Sacramento Gay and Lesbian Center.

“Native Americans have always believed in openness and acceptance,” Hoffman said in a released statement. “For 25 years, Jackson Rancheria has enjoyed and supported the endless diversity of our community.”

Jackson Rancheria Casino and Hotel

Where: 12222 New York Ranch Road, Jackson
Phone: (800) 822-9466
On the Web: www.jacksoncasino.com
Slots: 1,524
Tables: 49
Parking spaces: 2,000
Age to gamble: 18
Extras: Top-rated RV park, gas station and general store

courtesy photos
New skin: A remodel will transform Jackson Rancheria Casino and Hotel from a 1900s-era small-town design into a more modern structure. New table games and a new high-limit area are among other improvements.

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Al Pacciorini

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