Tribal Organization: Tule River Indian Tribe of California
681 South Tule Road
Porterville, California 93258
Eagle Mountain Casino is currently located 15 miles from Perterville on reservation land off Highway 190. The Tule River Indians plan to relocate the casino to tribal property near the Porterville Airport.
Artist rendering of new Eagle Mountain Casino & Hotel
The Tule River Indian Tribe of California own the Eagle Mountain Casino. Their reservation was established in 1873 and totals 90-square-miles.
On June 1, 1996 the tribe opened Eagle Mountain Casino inside three manufactured trailers, which contained slot machines, table games and a snack bar.
The Tule River Indian Tribe plan to move the Eagle Mountain Casino to a new location near the Porterville Municipal Airport. The relocation site is 40 acres, which have been owned by the tribe since 1990.
The proposed casino will be 105,000 square feet in size and cost $180-$200 million to build.
The plan includes a 250-room hotel, restaurants, meeting and 29.000-sqaure-feet of convention space.
The new Eagle Mountain Casino will have a 1,700-seat entertainment center. There will also be a sports bar and new dining venues.
The 40-acre relocation site was purchased by the Tule River Indian Tribe in 1990. An application is pending with the U.S. Department of Interior to transfer that land into federal trust for the purpose of building a casino.
Gov. Gavin Newsom approved a new gaming compact with the Tule River Indians last month granting state approval to the casino relocation. This is the last action needed before the U.S. Interior Department approves the fee-to-trust application. The Interior Department has a deadline of October 2 to approve the application.
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September 12, 2020
The U.S Department of Interior has a deadline of October 2 to approve the Tule River Tribe's Fee-To-Trust application to relocate the Eagle Mountain Casino near the Porterville Municipal Airport.
A letter from Tulare County Board of Supervisors was sent last Tuesday to U.S. Rep. Kevin McCarthy, House Minority Leader, requesting help in seeking immediate and favorable action from the Interior Department.
The letter was signed by Tulare County Board Chairman, Peter Vander Poel, who included these statements:
"As we understand it, the only remaining action is the administrative process of issuing the decision and taking the land into trust," Vander Poel wrote. "The deadline for this action is October 2; otherwise, the Tribe would need to re-start the entire process.
"Because of the importance of the Relocation Project to the local community, we request that the completion of this process be a priority and completed as expeditiously as possible. The Relocation Project will result in several direct and indirect benefits to the County, including job creation, road improvements, a payment in lieu of taxes to the County, and an increase in economic development activity surrounding the Relocation Project."
The relocation of Eagle Mountain Casino can begin upon completion of the fee-for-trust land transfer. The new casino will have 105,000 square feet of gambling space, restaurants including a buffet and food court, a sports bar and a 1,700-seat concert and entertainment center. A hotel will feature 250 guest rooms and suites and 29,000 square feet of convention space.
August 9, 2020
Gov. Newsom signed a letter Aug. 3 to the U.S. Interior Department agreeing that the new casino site should be place in federal trust as the new location of the Eagle Mountain Casino. The governor also signed an updated tribal-state gaming compact with Tule River Indian Tribe to include gaming the new casino property.
These two actions by the governor are the final steps taken by the state in the relocation approval process. Previous approvals have been issued by the county and city governments. The Interior Department now has until October 2 to complete the transfer of the relocation site into federal trust.
January 12, 2020
The plan of the Tule River Indian Tribe to move their Eagle Mountain Casino from the Tule River Reservation to a 40-acre site near the municipal airport in Porterville, California was approved by the Tulare County Board of Supervisors last week.
Under an agreement between the county and the tribe, the Tule River Indians will pay Tulare County a $550,000 annual fee for general support services. An addition $3.5 million will be paid to the county sheriff's department for law enforcement, and $48,667 annually will be paid for fire services unless the tribe builds a fire station at the casino.
The federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) has approved the relocation of Eagle Mountain Casino.
Final approval is needed from Gov. Newsom, who has until Oct. 17, 2020 to make that decision.
November 15, 2019
The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs has approved the relocation of Eagle Mountain Casino to a new site near the Porterville Municipal Airport. The new casino site is 40 acres located between West Street on the east, Highway 190 on the south and Highway 65 on the west.
Source: U.S Dept of Interior Scoping Report - Tule River Tribe Fee-to-Trust and Eagle Mountain Casino Relocation Project
The official date of the federal approval was October 7 when the Record of Decision (ROD) was signed by the BIA Assistant Secretary in accordance with the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. According to The Porterville Recorder newspaper, the BIA has also approved the transfer of the new casino site into federal trust for the Tule River Tribe.
That land transfer into trust leaves only the negotiation of a gaming compact between the governor and the tribe before construction can start.
July 30, 2019
The Porterville City Council voted unanimously today to approve an agreement with the Tule River Tribe to move the Eagle Mountain Casino to a new location next to the Porterville Municipal Airport.
The Tule River Tribe agrees to pay the city nearly $1M annually for law enforcement, fire protection and traffic enforcement. It will also share in the cost of upgrading the roads surrounding the new casino location.
The tribe wants to move their casino to a 40-acre parcel it owns adjacent to the Porterville airport. If approved by the U.S. Department of Interior, the tribe will build a new $200M casino on that site. The casino will be 105,000 square feet with a 250-room hotel, a 1,700-seat event venue, restaurants, sports bar, buffet, food court, convention space and a parking garage.
August 31, 2018
The Tule River Tribe had hoped their federal application to move their Eagle Mountain Casino to property near the Porterville Municipal Airport would have been approved by now. However, the decision has been delayed by a new Environmental Impact Review process, which now requires more time issue a report.
Tribal Chairman Neil Peyron issued this statement yesterday:
"A comprehensive environmental impact statement has been prepared to determine the impacts of the project on the local economy, infrastructure and the environment. We had hoped that the draft environmental impact statement would be released to the public this summer. However, the federal government is implementing efforts to modernize and streamline the entire environmental review process and we are working through the new process. We support the efforts of the federal government to improve the environmental review process and reduce processing times. We believe that the new streamlined process will eventually expedite the review in the long run."
February 24, 2018
It is expected that a final decision will be made by the federal government will be made in July over the request to relocate Eagle Mountain Casino.
The casino is owned by the Tule River Tribe. Members of the tribe and their associates met with Chamber of Commerce in Porterville for Government Affairs Meeting. This meeting gave the tribe a chance to present updates on the proposed casino relocation.
The tribe wants to move close to the Porterville Municipal Airport. The property is 40 acres and must be moved into trust before the casino project can move forward. The new casino would be multiple floors and cost between $180 to $200 million to build.
An environmental impact statement has previously been prepared and submitted.
If approved, the new casino would offer a casino of 105,000 square feet in size. There would be a hotel with 250 guest rooms. There would also be restaurants, lounges, convention space, meeting space, a parking structure, and administration offices. Also, there would be an entertainment event center with 1,700 seats.
530 new job positions would be created to work in the casino operations. That would be in addition to the over 600 current casino. Current casino employees would be given the option of transferring to the new casino.
There is also interest to build a new fire station on the proposed property.
It was announced that Office of Indian Gaming Indian Affairs is currently reviewing the matter.
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