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Thunder Valley halts construction

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January 12, 2009

SACRAMENTO - Construction on the Thunder Valley expansion project stopped last month due to the lagging economy. The $1 billion project included a 23-story hotel with 624 rooms, a 9-story parking garage with 5,000 spaces, and a performing arts center. Now the question is whether the project will be downsized.

A spokesman for the United Auburn Indian Community, Doug Elmets, said "Like most businesses, we are trying to gauge future market demand. There is no question that Placer County and the region need a large hotel and the casino needs more parking. But will we need nine stories of parking or as many suites as we planned? The tribe . decided to step back and reassess and at this stage of the development of the project, they were able to do just that."

The work stoppage has affected 350 contractors and subcontractors. Work is expected to resume in late spring or early summer. The original goal for completion was 2010.

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