Tribal Organization: Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla
68899 C Street
Cathedral City, California 92234
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla is building a new casino on a 13-acre parcel of land in Cathedral City located at the northwest corner of East Palm Canyon Drive and Date Palm Drive.
Artist rendering of casino from Draft Environment Impact Report, Oct 2018
The Cathedral City casino will be a total of 125,000 square feet and multiple buildings. The casino floor will be 40,000 square feet with 500 slot machines and 8 table games. The will be 5,000 square feet of restaurant space, however the number or type of restaurants have not been announced.
On Oct 10, 2019 the tribe announced their Cathedral City casino project was approved by the U.S. Department of Interior giving them a greenlight to begin construction.
The Palm Springs and the Rancho Mirage properties lie on reservation land. The casino site in Cathedral City is off-reservation land. It is 3.6 acres purchased by the tribe for $5.5 million. It lies contiguous to the tribe's reservation.
To proceed with this casino project, the U.S. Department of Interior must agree to take this land into trust as reservation land and for the purpose of building the casino.
The plan is to build multiple buildings totaling 125,000 square feet. The casino building with gaming floor, restaurants, retail shops and utility space will total 65,000 square feet. Six other smaller buildings totaling 60,000 square feet will house tribal offices and other needs of the tribe.
The casino will include slot machines, table games, restaurants, retail space and parking.
The hours of operation will be 24 hours daily. A 40,000-square-foot gaming floor will host 500 Class III slot machines, which are sometimes described as Vegas-style slot machines, and 8 tables games. The types of table games have not been announced.
There will be 5,000 square feet of restaurant space. The number and types of restaurants have not been announced.
The available retail space will be 2,500 square feet. The parking lot will have spaces for 1,000 vehicles.
THE CASINO STATUS
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla are waiting for federal approval or disapproval of their casino application submitted to the U.S. Burueau of Indian Affairs.
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians submitted an application to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) to transfer the casino land into federal trust for the purpose of Indian gaming.
A key filing document for casino approval is the Draft Environmental Assessment / Tribal Draft Environment Impact Report (EA/TEIR). This document is available here.
The BIA opened a scoping comment period for the EA/TEIR from Dec. 29, 2017 through Jan. 29, 2018.
A scoping hearing was held on January 18, 2018.
The BIA published the Draft EA/TEIR on Oct. 19, 2018.
The period for public comments on the Draft EA/TEIR ended on Dec. 3, 2018.
The 2016 Tribal-State Gaming Compact between the State of California and the Aqua Caliente tribe grants State approval to the Cathedral City casino.
In Aug 2019 the City Council of Cathedral City agreed to a ten year contract to support the casino with public services. In turn, the Aqua Caliente tribe will pay the city $150,000 annually plus $5 million for city road improvements.
In Sept 2019 The Riverside County Board of Supervisors agreed to the Tribe's plan for compensation of county services resulting from the Cathedral City casino. These costs of services include gambling addiction, substance abuse and related mental health issues.
The site for the new Aqua Caliente casino is located north of Highway 111 at Date Palm Drive. The property boundries are outlined in red in this photograph.
The streets surrounding the future casino site are:
Buddy Rogers Ave on the North
Date Palm Drive on the East
East Palm Canyon Drive on the South
Monty Hall Drive on the West
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Casino Gaming Floor 40,000 square feet
Operating hours 24 hours daily
500 slot machines (Class III)
8 table games
Additional details to be announced
Restaurant names to be announced
Total restaurant space will be 5,000 square feet
Stores will be announced at a future date
Total retail space available will be 2,500 square feet
November 4, 2019
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians broke ground today on their downtown Catedral City casino. A ceremony was held at the corner of East Palm Canyon Drive and Date Palm Drive and the public was invited.
The casino will be named Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City and feature 500 Vegas-style slot machines and 8 live table games. The total building size will be 125,000 square feet with 40,000 square feet of casino floor, 5,000 square feet of restaurant space, and the remainder will be allocated for tribal offices and special services.
Agua Caliente Chairman Jeff L. Grubbe said:
"We are excited to begin construction on this large-scale investment in Cathedral City. This project will create jobs, revitalize an undeveloped downtown property and support Cathedral City's economic development efforts."
This will be the third casino owned by the tribe. The others are Agua Caliente Casino Palm Springs, formerly the Spa Resort Casino, and Agua Caliente Casino Rancho Mirage. The tribe has a gaming compact with the state which authorizes a fourth casino at some future time. No plans for that have been announced.
October 18, 2019
The Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians will soon break ground on a new casino in Cathedral City, California after receiving federal approval to add the building site to their reservation land. The date for the grounding breaking has not been announced.
The new casino, Agua Caliente Casino Cathedral City, will be built on 3.6 acres at the corner of E. Palm Canyon Drive and Date Palm Drive. The tribe purchased the land in 2017, and as part of the deal, paid the city $5.5 million to the city to build a new fire station at 68950 Buddy Rogers Ave.
The casino will have a 40,000-square-foot gaming floor with 500 Vegas-style slot machines (Class III type) and 8 tables games. It will be open 24 hours a day and include restaurants, restail space and 1,000 parking spaces.
The groundbreaking and completion dates should be announced soon along with more details of the casino. The tribe is preparing final plans now to begin construction.
September 22, 2019
Last week the Riverside County Board of Supervisors unanimously voted 5-0 to approve an initial agreement with the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians to build a downtown casino in Cathedral City.
Under the terms of the agreement, the Tribe will compensate Riverside County for financial impacts incurred by the County from the operation of the future casino. These are county service costs social programs related to gambling addiction, substance abuse and related mental health issues.
The tribe agreed to pay the county $125,000 this fiscal year. The funds will go to the Riverside University Health System-Behavioral Health Department.
Additional compensation agreements will be negotiated in the future as more cost information becomes available regarding actual county services rendered.
August 29, 2019
Vacant casino site for the planned Aqua Caliente Casino Cathedral City
An agreement has been made between the City Council of Cathedral City and the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla regarding the construction of a new 65,000-square-foot casino.
The city has agreed to provide support services including traffic regulation, fire protection, law enforcement, medical response and road maintenance. In turn the tribe will reimburse the city with annual payments of $150,000 plus a one-time payment of $5 million of road work within the city.
This local agreement is a key step forward for this casino project. The state government has already granted approval in its 2016 gaming compact with the tribe.
The major remaining hurdle is federal approval. That decision from the U.S. Department of Interior is expected soon.
January 24, 2018
Downtown Cathedral City could be the location for a new gaming and entertainment venue. Plans for the project were announced on Tuesday by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians.
The tribe plans to purchase property on the corner of Date Palm Drive and East Palm Canyon Drive. The cost to buy the 3.6 acres is $5.5 million.
This will be the first gaming venue owned by the tribe that will not be located on their reservation. They currently have casinos located in Palm Springs and Rancho Mirage.
For 18 months the tribe and the city held negotiations over the project.
Under the current gaming compact the tribe is allowed to own four casinos and up to 500 gaming machines in each location.
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