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Miwoks to hit big casino Dec. 17

Tribe's Red Hawk gaming facility opening date fixed
By: Roger Phelps The Telegraph
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Dec. 17 is opening night for Red Hawk Casino in Shingle Springs. Tight holiday calendars might have to be juggled to squeeze that one in as the long-awaited complex of gaming tables, restaurants, shops and lounges throws open its doors at 7 p.m. The day of the week for the event is a Wednesday. The casino project, bitterly opposed originally by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors, waited out a court battle financed partly by Lake Tahoe gambling interests. Its opening will mark beginning of a whole new book in the lives of casino owners the Shingle Springs Band of Miwok Indians. "Everybody's excited about it," said John Tayaba, vice chairman of the tribe. "I'm not aware of a tribal party scheduled in advance, but things could change. I think it's a milestone for our tribe, for our independence. We’ll be able to be self-sufficient, to start with our education for our kids." The Shingle Springs Tribal Gaming Authority estimates that the casino will generate nearly 2,000 jobs. Tribal spokesman Joshua Taustein said details on an opening-night celebration will be announced shortly. Work is nearly complete on the new, tribe-financed Red Hawk Parkway access overpass crossing U.S. Highway 50 between Shingle Springs and Placerville. Casino general manager Peter Fordham has emphasized a "not-just-another-casino" theme. “When Red Hawk Casino opens, it will set a new standard for gaming in Northern California,” Fordham said. “Our vast selection of gaming will appeal to players of all experience levels by offering the newest games, as well as some old favorites. Red Hawk Casino will also feature world-class dining options to satisfy every appetite -- from casual to gourmet. Guests will also enjoy nightly, live entertainment by regional performers at the Stage Bar.” The multi-story casino will feature an entire floor devoted to smoke-free gaming and dining. Red Hawk Casino will feature 2,000 slot machines, 75 table games, six restaurants, four bars, more than 3,000 lighted and covered parking spaces and a gift shop. The Telegraph’s Roger Phelps can be reached at rogerp@goldcountrymedia.com, or post a comment at folsomtelegraph.com.