Elk Grove, CA—July 28—Region Business, the Sacramento region’s business association, has declared its support for Wilton Rancheria’s planned resort and casino project in Elk Grove.
David Temblador, president of the association, which represents Sacramento area industries including builders, agriculture, brewers, restaurants, real estate and others, told Wilton Rancheria Chairman Raymond C. Hitchcock in a letter that:
“It is our belief that the Wilton Rancheria Casino & Resort is the next big catalyst project because it will create 1,600 construction jobs and over 3,000 direct and indirect jobs. The project will benefit the City of Elk Grove and the greater Sacramento region by funding essential infrastructure and saving the outlet mall project from several more years of inactivity.”
“We are also pleased that it will generate revenue to assist tribal members with jobs, health care, scholarships and educational opportunities, housing and overall self-sufficiency.”
Responding to the letter, Hitchcock said, “Region Business is a leader in championing regional economic growth and we are very appreciative of their support. We look forward to working together as we move ahead with this vital project, which will create lasting benefits for the economy, the community and our Tribe.”
Wilton Rancheria is recommending that a 36-acre parcel along Highway 99 in Elk Grove be designated as the preferred alternative by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) in its Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), prepared in response to the Tribe’s application to have land taken into trust for its planned resort and casino. The Howard Hughes Corporation, which owns the property along Highway 99, has entered into an option agreement for the sale of land to Wilton Rancheria. Hughes plans to build The Outlet Collection at Elk Grove on the remaining portion of the parcel.
An EIS must be prepared by the BIA in order for the land to be held in trust for the Tribe by the federal government. After the Tribe is able to obtain land held in trust, a compact between the sovereign government of Wilton Rancheria and the State of California would be required before any gaming operations could commence.
The more than 700 current members of Wilton Rancheria are descendants of the Plains and Sierra Miwok, who lived and prospered in the Sacramento Valley. Tribal status was terminated in 1959 by the federal government and, after years of struggle, restored in June 2009. Wilton Rancheria is the only federally recognized tribe in Sacramento County. In November 2011, the Tribe adopted its modern Constitution, and since that time, tribal leadership has worked to improve the lives of its members and positively serve the community from its offices in Elk Grove.
Raymond C. Hitchcock