River Rock gets a makeover 

River Rock Casino has opened its new poker room, moved from a dark, back corner to the best real estate in the house.

The new-six table poker room is right in the front of the casino, in a former banquet and overflow area of the Quail Run restaurant. Large glass windows offer a panoramic view of the Alexander Valley wine country and Russian River.

With the opening of the new poker room, River Rock is offering a number of promotions and tournaments, and there’s a special poker room food menu, with items from $1 to $4.

Meanwhile, several other remodeling projects should be complete by mid-December, advertising and promotions manager Chris Wright said.

Players can benefit from a “construction” promotion that coincides with the remodeling. Through Oct. 29, River Rock has giveaways that include $250 Home Depot gift cards, construction-related T-shirts and more.

Some of the construction involves moving players’ club operations from desks at the front and side entrances to the back of the casino, opening a new Asian-American quick service restaurant where the poker room was and expanding the showroom and adding a bar and grill. The existing Quail Run restaurant will become a buffet only.

River Rock is just off Highway 101 outside Geyserville. The small town offers several tasting rooms featuring local wineries, all within walking distance. River Rock also works with local hospitality partners with lodging and wine tasting packages.

IF YOU GO 

River Rock Casino

Where: 3250 Highway 128, Geyserville

Phone: (877) 883-7777

Web: www.riverrockcasino.com

Slots: 1,200

Tables: Six poker; 18 others

Check out: Extensive bus service from all over the Bay Area and many related promotions; for transportation information, call (800) 254-3423 or visit the casino’s Web site.

Expansion stalled at Cache Creek

The recession has put a halt to expansion plans at Cache Creek Casino Resort, northwest of Sacramento.

The 2,600-slot machine casino, with a 200-room hotel and 18-hole golf course, announced plans two years ago to triple in size. Plans called for adding a 10-story tower, almost 500 rooms and cottages, more gaming, eating, parking and bigger conference and event venues.

“While Cache Creek Casino Resort patronage remains strong, the tribal council has conducted a thorough re-examination of the plans for expansion ... and has concluded that it is prudent to focus its efforts, investing in existing core business operations,” the tribe said in a statement.

Arbitration talks with Yolo County on traffic and environmental mitigation were also dragging out.

With about 2,400 employees, Cache Creek is the largest private employer in Yolo County.

Cache Creek is owned by the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, formerly the Rumsey Band of Wintun Indians. The 60-member tribe officially changed its name last month, casino spokesman Cean Burgeson confirmed.

Yocha Dehe, pronounced “YO-cha DEE-hee,” is the tribe’s ancestral name in its Patwin language, meaning “home by the spring water.” The federal government had given the tribe its former name because members lived near the town of Rumsey, in the Capay Valley.

The tribe has a new Web site at www.yochadehe.org. — Albert C. Pacciorini

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Al Pacciorini

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