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Pechanga breaks ground on $285-million expansion of Temecula resort

An artist's rendering of the Pechanga Resort and Casino once its $285-million expansion is completed in late 2017.

An artist’s rendering of the Pechanga Resort and Casino once its $285-million expansion is completed in late 2017.

(Pechanga Resort and Casino)

The Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians is betting on a bright future for California’s gaming industry by breaking ground Wednesday on a $285-million expansion of its resort and casino in Temecula.

The expansion project, expected to be completed near the end of 2017, will include a 568-room hotel wing, a two-story spa and salon, a fitness center, two restaurants and 67,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

“We want to be able to meet the growing needs of people who want recreation, not just gambling,” tribal Chairman Mark Macarro said.

He said that demand for hotel rooms at the resort has been surging. Macarro noted that the resort recently celebrated 365 straight days of 100% occupancy.

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Part of the growth, he said, has come from a growing acceptance of gambling and casinos by younger people, including millennials. The increasing demand for rooms at the resort may also come from the growing popularity of Temecula as a tourist destination for wine and music lovers.

Once the expansion is completed, the casino and resort will offer 1,090 hotel rooms, 13 restaurants, 13 pools and 274,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor event space.

The project’s builder is Sylmar-based Tutor Perini Corp. with a design team led by Delawie architects of San Diego.

To read more about travel, tourism and the airline industry, follow Hugo Martin on Twitter at @hugomartin.

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