February 06, 2014
In the casino industry, the idea of closing the doors, turning off the slots, and shutting the restaurants for even a short period of time is almost unthinkable and entirely unprecedented. Valley View Casino & Hotel, in partnership with contractor Swinerton Builders, took a risk and completed an "Extreme Casino Makeover," during which the casino opted to temporarily close for 11 days to avoid inconveniencing guests with construction lasting for months on end -- an unexpected move in the gaming and hospitality sphere. With crews working around the clock on a tightly managed hourly schedule, Swinerton completed what would normally be a six- to eight-month phased project in a mere 11 days. The all-new Valley View Casino & Hotel celebrated its Grand Opening and revealed the Extreme Casino Makeover on January 17, welcoming record-breaking crowds of guests thrilled with the renovations.
"When discussion of this Extreme Casino Makeover first started about 12 months ago and we weighed all of our construction options for Valley View Casino & Hotel, this was the best option to ensure our guests' comfort and happiness," said Joe Navarro, President and CEO of the San Pasqual Casino Development Group, Inc. "The team at Swinerton worked tirelessly in collaboration with all of our team members to achieve something amazing that has never been done before."
The project was the culmination of over a year of discussion and planning by Valley View Casino & Hotel, the San Pasqual Band of Indians, and Swinerton, who have worked together on several projects in the past. A multitude of interior upgrades were completed including new carpeting throughout the casino, updates to the Main Stage Bar, the expansion of the award-winning Buffet, a refresh of the VIP Lounge featuring new millwork, columns and cabinets, and a complete renovation of the restrooms with new drywall, tile, granite, mirrors and plumbing fixtures. Swinerton's team also updated the adjacent hotel with new corridor carpeting and lobby hardwood, plus guest room updates like fresh paint and restoration of carpets and tile work. Valley View Casino & Hotel's parking structure was also fully repainted and restriped.
Working on such a compressed schedule required precise coordination between Valley View Casino & Hotel's management, Swinerton, and a team of more than a dozen subcontractors, with many trade professionals working simultaneously. "Everyone did a great job," says Swinerton Project Engineer Joseph Neilly. "Exact and timely procurement of materials was essential, and all our subcontractors were on board and excited about this project. They understood that failure was not an option." Swinerton self-performed the drywall work, helping further streamline the schedule.
"The decision to undertake this Extreme Casino Makeover was a bold one, but important for all of our loyal Valley View Casino & Hotel guests," said General Manager of Valley View Casino & Hotel Bruce Howard. "To avoid inconveniencing our guests for months with stop-and-go construction, we chose to serve them first and foremost by temporarily closing the casino down for a short period of 11 days. The teamwork with Swinerton and all of our team members that collaborated on this project has been second to none and we could not be more proud to share this beautiful new casino with our guests."
If other casinos take note of the fast-track project's success, it could usher in a new way of thinking about property renovations.
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