YUBA COUNTY -- For the last 15 years, the Enterprise Rancheria Tribe has tried to turn an empty plot of land along 40 Mile Road into an international casino destination.
Preliminary work is underway as the tribe and Hard Rock Casino Resorts announced a partnership on Wednesday.
"Fifteen years is a long time to wait for a project," said Yuba-Sutter Economic Development Corporation President Brenda Stranix. "I think it's going to be fantastic. I'm just so excited about it."
Stranix believes the $440 million project will be an economic boon for Yuba County. The resort will feature 170 rooms, pools, bars, restaurants and, of course, slots and tables.
"It's a $225 million annual economic impact to the region. So that's something Yuba County doesn't see very often and we are very, very excited about that," Stranix told FOX40.
Stranix added about 2,000 permanent positions will be available at the casino and resort.
Once the Hard Rock is built, it will face stiff competition from the nearby Colusa Casino and its biggest competitor -- Thunder Valley Casino Resort -- which just had its own $65 million renovation. Thunder Valley spokesman Doug Elmets told FOX40, "We do not believe that the Enterprise Casino will have any measurable effect on Thunder Valley given its isolated location and the fact that Thunder Valley is the dominant casino in the region and has a well-established customer base."
For decades, 40 Mile Road has been zoned for sports and entertainment. Big Acts have come through the Toyota Amphitheater, which is just two miles from the Hard Rock site.
County spokesman Russ Brown says the county is not only ready for the competition but for more businesses to be attracted to the area.
"There's going to be other possibilities all up and down this avenue that’ll attract people from outside the area, not just Yuba County," Brown said.
Stranix believes having a brand like the Hard Rock Casino in the county is the next step in making Yuba County a go-to destination.
"We are excited about the brand. I think it elevates the community in so many ways and it brings national and international attention to the region," she said.
The casino resort is expected to open in October of 2019.