Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta informed Santa Barbara County officials of the intent to expand the Chumash Casino Resort late last month.
In an interview, Armenta
stressed that while his
tribe has voted to move forward with the expansion project, it is only beginning to piece together precise development plans.
said the tribe plans to invest more than $100 million - all Chumash money, with no outside investors.
The hotel, currently four stories, probably would rise, he
not sure how tall it would be, but said it would be built with the "least amount of visual impact as possible."
For now, the expansion of the gaming floor is intended merely to relieve congestion and improve the atmosphere inside the casino, Armenta
But the tribe's gambling compact with the state expires in 2020, and Armenta
acknowledged that adding to the casino's 2,000 slot machines and 46 table games probably will be on the agenda when negotiations take place for a new agreement.
has said plans for the tract are modest - building 143 homes for tribal members and descendants, at a lower density than some nearby developments.
called the theories "ridiculous and adolescent.
If anything, he
said, the casino expansion plans should help assuage critics of the Camp 4 development - because one of the persistent allegations has been that the tribe is secretly planning to build a second casino there.
That makes even less sense, Armenta
pointed out, if the tribe is investing so heavily in its existing casino.