Sycuan expansion breaks ground Tuesday in El Cajon

EL CAJON (KUSI) — The Sycuan Tribal Council broke ground Tuesday on an 11-story hotel and casino expansion project at its East County reservation.

The $226 million development will include a 300-room hotel, a 12,000-square-foot ballroom and more gaming space. Also planned are a pool with a lazy river, a separate pool for adults, a 1 1/2-acre garden, and new restaurants and bars.

The 33-year-old casino currently is 90,000 square feet, with 2,000 slot machines, more than 40 gaming tables and a poker room. The facility also includes a concert venue and five restaurants.

Sycuan doesn’t operate a hotel on its casino property, unlike established East County competitors Barona and Viejas. Sycuan does offer a hotel at its golf resort, which is at a nearby, but separate property.

Tribal Chairman Cody Martinez told reporters that customers now expect amenities beyond the gaming tables.

"We have to keep up with the Joneses, as they say,” Martinez told NBC San Diego.

"The Southern California gaming experience is one that you can stay overnight at a property,” Martinez said. "You do have food and beverage offerings — it’s not just about gaming, it’s about entertainment, it’s about experience.”

The relatively new Hollywood Casino in Jamul doesn’t have a hotel.

Categories: Local San Diego News