Thunder Valley adds live poker, new steakhouse 

Thunder Valley Casino Resort is set for the official opening of its new hotel, expanded casino and other amenities July 1, part of an expansion that included opening a new poker room and steakhouse last week.

The new poker room, featuring live dealers and real chips, is located in part of the casino expansion area at the southwest end of Thunder Valley. It opened with capacity for 80, but should be able to accommodate 160 poker players by June.

The new poker room replaces an electronic, virtual poker setup that involved a large-screen monitor and individual terminals.

Thunder Valley’s former high-end restaurant, Austins Steakhouse, has been redesigned and replaced. To go along with the expansion, the leadership of the United Auburn Indian Community, which owns Thunder Valley, “wanted a steakhouse that was new, different and clearly their own,” said casino spokesman Doug Elmets. The tribal council and casino executives surveyed steak houses in Sacramento and Las Vegas to develop the best of menus, Elmets said.

The High Steaks Steakhouse features Kobe beef from Corning, as well as seafood and grilled steaks. Much of the 42,500 square feet of new casino space is open; last-minute work on the hotel is progressing.

The new poker room and steakhouse opening are “the beginning of a big summer ahead at Thunder Valley,” General Manager CJ
Graham said. “We have the rest of the expansion opening soon with a new hotel, pool and spa and a summer concert series that is already generating buzz.”

To celebrate the opening, Thunder Valley set up a 4,500-seat temporary amphitheater in the south parking lot for its summer concerts. Among the performers in July: Lionel Richie, Dwight Yoakam, the band America, Smokey Robinson and Adam Lambert.
Thunder Valley opened in June 2003 and is about 30 miles east of Sacramento.

Thunder Valley Casino Resort

Location: 1200 Athens Ave., Lincoln
Phone: (877) 468-8777
On the Web: www.thundervalleycasino.com
Slots: 2,700
Tables: 100
Extras: Electronic craps and roulette machines

Hotel and gambling expansion
- 42,500 square feet of expanded gaming space for slot machines, table games and poker room (102,000 square feet of existing gaming space)
- 17-story, 297-room hotel
- 35,000-square-foot pool area
- 10,100-square-foot spa
- New center bar, service bars and gift shop
- 10,000-square-foot entertainment hall
- Complete remodel of the existing casino and restaurants
- Seven-story parking garage with 3,750 spaces (4,000 existing)

Source: Thunder Valley Casino Resort

apacciorini@sfexaminer.com

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