san-manuel-casino-pushes-back-part-of-expansion-because-of-coronavirus

San Manuel Casino’s $550 million expansion, which includes a 17-story hotel, an entertainment center and more gaming space, won’t fully open until 2022, according to casino officials.

An expanded gaming space, 24-hour restaurant, and a fine dining restaurant will open at the Highland-area complex by summer of 2021; its 205-foot hotel tower with 429 rooms will follow at the end of the year. However, the opening of a 2,700-seat event center for public events has been pushed to 2022 because of the novel coronavirus pandemic, said Peter Arceo, general manager for the casino.

He said that San Manuel officials did not know how the novel coronavirus might affect entertainment over the next year, so moving the timeline for the event center allows flexibility in figuring it out.

When San Manuel Casino reopened in June after being shuttered for months because of the coronavirus, casino officials said that the opening of the hotel, originally scheduled for mid-2021, would move to the end of the year after construction slowed because of the pandemic.

The entertainment center will be completed in 2021 along with the hotel, but will only host private events until 2022, Arceo said Friday, Nov. 6, following a socially-distanced topping off ceremony for the complex. A beam signed by San Manuel employees and members of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians was hoisted to the top of the still-under-construction hotel tower.

  • A beam is hoisted onto the final floor of San Manuel Casino’s under construction hotel tower. The hotel tower is slated for completion in winter of 2021. (Photo by Alex Groves, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • A 3D rendering located on the second floor of San Manuel Casino shows what its fully completed hotel tower and event center will look like. (Photo by Alex Groves, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • San Manuel Casino’s upcoming hotel tower is fully vertical in Highland on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. The casino held a topping off ceremony and announced Friday that its expansion project would be fully completed in 2022 with the opening of its event center. (Photo by Alex Groves, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

  • San Manuel Casino’s upcoming hotel tower is fully vertical in Highland on Friday, Nov. 6, 2020. The casino held a topping off ceremony and announced Friday that its expansion project would be fully completed in 2022 with the opening of its event center. (Photo by Alex Groves, The Press-Enterprise/SCNG)

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The public can see what the completed hotel casino structure will look like with a 3-D rendering across from the Big Mo’ Cafe at the second floor casino entrance.

Arceo pointed out that one new element to the tower is a top floor VIP lounge that will provide views of the reservation and the surrounding area.

“The sunrises and sunsets from there are just going to be amazing,” he said.

The original plan for that top floor space was to have a restaurant, but Arceo said that the infrastructure required would have taken away from suite space.

There will be two pools in a 21 and older pool area as well as a poolside restaurant and an adjacent spa.

The pool area will be located above the casino floor, according to Arceo.

Off the expanded gaming floor will be a bigger, more spacious version of San Manuel’s current fine dining restaurant, The Pines. The Pines will move from its current location into the new spot, Arceo said.

San Manuel first broke ground on its expansion more than two years ago and has competed some elements of the project already, including multiple new high limit rooms, an expanded gift shop and a six-story parking structure.

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By Richard Moran

Richard Moran loves to write about sports with the Golden State Online. Before that, he worked as a senior writer at ESPN. Richard grew up in San Diego and graduated from the University of San Diego in 2004, after which he worked as an editor for five years.

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