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This Hot-Spot Got a Makeover

Writer: Bhadri Kubendran

Oct. 17 was a warm day at Pala Casino Spa & Resort, and there was a lot of buzz, eagerness and excitement as Pala Casino Spa & Resort team members, invited guests, special dignitaries and media assembled to witness the unveiling of the $170 million expansion of the AAA Four Diamond award-winning property.

As part of this expansion and remodel, Pala Casino Spa & Resort will add a 348-room hotel tower, a fully renovated multi-pool entertainment complex with a complete remodel of the restaurant promenade, Starlight Theater and more. The gaming space will be enriched with an increased capacity of 2,500 slot/video machines and 88 table games. Pala Casino Spa & Resort will also add 400 jobs from various trades and disciplines during construction, while increasing their permanent headcount from 2,000 to 2,200 eventually. The full completion of the project is targeted for May 2019. At the end of the day, Pala will boast 853 rooms including 104 unique suites and 749 deluxe rooms with dramatic views of the resort’s multi-pool and entertainment complex, event lawn and the scenic Palomar Mountain Range. Plus, the hotel parking structure will be expanded by adding 420 additional spaces. Bonus!

The event progressed with clockwork precision with key-notes and remarks from Chief Executive Officer Bill Bembenek, Chairman of Pala Band of Mission Indians Robert Smith and assembly members Marie Waldron, Lorena Gonzalez Fletcher and Randy Voepel.

Chairman Smith was humbled by Pala Casino Spa & Resort’s achievements, “Our ability to expand and refresh Pala Resort Casino & Spa is a true testament, not only to growth of Pala but also thriving economy and continued strength of [the] gaming industry in California. This is a proud moment for Pala,” said Smith in a press release.

Pala’s food promenade will also be converted into a restaurant mecca, offering a variety of food to fit any fancy. Expect casual café dining, Asian fare, a premium sushi restaurant and a sports bar with live entertainment and dancing every Friday and Saturday night. The new spots will complement Pala’s signature Choices the Buffet, the elegant Oak Room Steakhouse, the eclectic underground wine cave with its new California-casual restaurant, Bar-Meets-Grill, which will open in January 2018.  

All the assembly members unanimously celebrated how Pala played an active role in the flourishing of local communities while greatly enhancing the economic prosperity of the tribe members. They were enthralled at Pala’s commitment to fair wages and employment as well as their giving program that has provided millions of dollars to nonprofit organizations.

CEO Bembenek articulated the growth of Pala from a humble starting point; “We are very excited to engage in our third major expansion since our introduction to the Southern California gaming and hospitality market more than 16 years ago,” Bembenek said in a press release.

While the stunning renderings of the new facility were played, sounds of excitement filled the theater. Shortly after, all the attention turned towards the pool where animated guests and team members cheered as the excavator tore through the brick kiosk building, marking the beginning of a brand-new Pala.

Pala Casino Spa & Resort

11154 CA-76

Pala, CA 92059


Pala Casino Spa & Resort Got A Major Upgrade