Agua Caliente building new Palms Spring-area casino, 10,000-seat arena

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Agua Caliente launches two major expansions

The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians is solidifying its status as an economic powerhouse in the Palm Springs area. On Nov. 4, the tribe broke ground on its third casino in the Coachella Valley and is also building a $250 million, 10,000-seat sports and entertainment arena.

The Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City will join its sister casinos in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage when it opens on East Palm Canyon and Date Palm Drive, right off Highway 111. Meanwhile, the downtown Palm Springs arena project has already landed a National Hockey League farm team affiliated with Seattle.

The 13.6 acre Cathedral City casino site — a parcel of sand sitting about halfway between Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage that Cathedral City mayor Mark Carnevale called “an eyesore” — will be developed as a mixed-use project. Of the total planned 125,000 square feet, 65,000 of it will be dedicated to the casino, with the remainder designated for retail, restaurants and tribal government offices.

The modest-sized casino will feature a 40,000-square-foot gaming floor with 500 slot machines and eight table games, while 5,000 square feet will be dedicated to restaurants and 2,500 to retail. About 1,000 parking spaces will be built.

“We are excited to begin construction on this large-scale investment in Cathedral City,” tribal chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said in a statement. “This project will create (550-plus) jobs, revitalize an undeveloped downtown property and support Cathedral City’s economic development efforts.” As part of its land deal, the tribe also contributed $5.5 million to relocate and build a new Cathedral City fire station, Grubbe said.

The Palm Springs arena is a joint project between the tribe and Los Angeles-based Oak View Group, which develops sports venues. The new Seattle hockey expansion franchise is expected to have its American Hockey League farm team play at the arena beginning in October 2021. With a capacity of 10,000 seats, the arena has the potential to attract major entertainment acts to the desert. The Show concert venue at Agua Caliente Resort Casino Spa in Rancho Mirage seats 2,000.

https://www.sandiegouniontribune.com/entertainment/casinos/story/2019-12-01/agua-caliente-building-new-palms-spring-area-casino-10-000-seat-arena-vegas-dining-heats-up