Tuesday, May 27, 2008 • Hotel expansion planned to officially open in July

Publisher’s note: This story originally appeared in the Tuesday, May 27, 2008, edition of the Lassen County Times.

If everything goes according to plan, Diamond Mountain Casino’s brand new hotel expansion will hold its grand opening on the weekend of Friday, July 25 and Saturday, July 26.

Construction workers contracted by the Susanville Indian Rancheria to build the expansion have worked almost nonstop since ground was broken on the hotel site in August, 2007. Originally slated to open in the spring of this year, Casino General Manager Campbell Jamieson said weather was a major contributing factor for the delay.

Casino Sales Manager Cathy Morrison said almost all of the rooms on the higher floors of the casino will offer scenic views of Susanville and Lassen County.

“We had a pretty bad January,” Jamieson said. “We tried working through some of the rainy and snowy winter weather, but eventually we had to put it on hold for a bit.”

Jamieson said he is now confident that the casino is on course to open at the end of July.

Hotel Sales Manager Cathy Morrison said if they have a floor ready in time, it would be feasible for the casino to have a soft opening for the Fourth of July weekend. Soft openings are generally designed to build interest before the actual opening.

Jamieson said the hotel is in some of its final stages of production. He said as of right now, everything is up to code. Engineers from NST Engineering have completed preliminary inspections and Captain James Moore of the Susanville Fire Department has come by to make sure the building is up on fire regulations.

The repaving of the parking lot will be one of the last things the construction crew, contracted by the Susanville Indian Rancheria, will have to do.

As it stands right now, everything originally planned for the hotel is still a go. A six-machine arcade room set up for kids is no longer part of the plans.

“Other than the locals, our target audience focuses on tourism and people who come to town from the surrounding areas, like Chester or Lake Almanor,” Jamieson said. “We want to accommodate everybody.”

Jamieson said the regular rate for a room at the casino would be about $69 a night for a regular room. He said the rate would be subject to change on weekends, similar in fashion to popular gambling destinations like Reno and Las Vegas.

He also explained there would be a tribal occupancy tax assessed to each room purchased, which would equate to about 10 percent of the total cost of for each room purchased.

Casino Sales Manager Cathy Morrison shows off one of the rooms that will be used as a gaming area in the new expansion.

City Administrator Rob Hill said the Susanville Indian Rancheria has been reimbursing the city each month based on an amount calculated by the city finance office exchange for police and fire protection.

Morrison said the expansion would also provide about 25 additional jobs to the community in order to run the day-to-day hotel operations. She said the hotel is already starting to accept applications for the positions, from cleaning crew to front desk to night auditors.

The hotel has also started accepting reservations for rooms through August.

Aside from the Rancheria, Jamieson said the casino has been funded through the help of several loan companies, including Plumas Bank.

While the hotel will have its own pool and spa, it will only be available to hotel guests. Five of the 70 rooms in the hotel will also have whirlpools. Other amenities available to hotel guests will include a workout center, coffee shop, free Internet access, a multipurpose conference room and a business center.