Santa Ysabel Casino closes
SANTA YSABEL (CNS) – The Santa Ysabel Casino went out of business Monday
after a nearly seven-year struggle against a recession and its isolated
Santa Ysabel Tribal officials also accused San Diego County of being
“intransigent” for refusing to renegotiate a financial agreement that paid
for off-site improvements and additional sheriff's deputies.
The casino, which filed for bankruptcy reorganization in 2012 but was
denied, is saddled with debts of more than $50 million, UT San Diego reported.
“We have always strived to meet all of our obligations and to serve as
a responsible corporate partner in our community, as well as a valuable public
resource to our members and the surrounding area,” Tribal Chairman Virgil
Perez said in a statement.
The casino opened in April 2007 near the junction of state Routes 76 and
79 — close to Lake Henshaw — with 349 slot machines about the time the
October wildfires that year and just before the national recession. The
enterprise was also hurt by its isolated location while larger, easier-to-reach
The closure left around 115 employees without jobs. The casino also was
a funding source for the reservation's fire department.
Perez said he remained committed to exploring other business ventures,
including gaming on a limited scale, to provide employment opportunities to the