YUBA COUNTY -- It seemed like the day would never arrive for members of the Enterprise Rancheria tribe of Native Americans.
Their 17-year effort to establish a casino on reallocated land just south of Marysville reached a milestone Wednesday when a symbolic last beam was placed on the eight-story Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain.
The tribe's traditional land was taken to accommodate the construction of the Oroville Dam decades ago.
The name reflects its expected reach from its South Yuba County location into the Sacramento region. It is located just a mile from the Toyota Amphitheater, which hosts large outdoor concerts and also targets the Sacramento market.
At a topping-off ceremony, tribal chair Glenda Nelson said the project is expected to employ 1,000 workers for an area that is economically challenged.
"Not only our members but citizens of Yuba county have a preference in hiring and it really is about jobs and opportunities and careers," Nelson said.
The growing number of Native American casinos in the region does not worry Hard Rock executives. It has properties in 76 countries and is a well-known brand.
"With the Hard Rock brand, we really believe we can bring people from the whole western part of the country here. We have properties in Tahoe and Las Vegas and otherwise that we’re going to partner with to bring clientele from all over the region,” said Mark Birtha, president of Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Sacramento at Fire Mountain.
Birtha said the hotel will enable the casino to be a multi-day entertainment destination rather than just a day trip experience.
The complex is expected to open in the fall of 2019.