The Chumash tribe says it’s planning a major expansion at its casino, and resort in the Santa Ynez Valley.
In a letter to Santa Barbara County Supervisors, the tribe says when it built the Chumash Casino Resort a decade ago, it dramatically downsized its plans at the time to address community concerns.
Tribal Chairman Vincent Armenta says the tribe built a hotel much smaller than the market dictated, with 133 rooms and suites, and as a result can’t meet the demand.
Armenta says the tribe is considering a 215 room expansion of its hotel, a 60,000 square foot expansion of its casino, and a 750 vehicle parking garage, and adding a food court.
The chairman says once they develop more specific plans, they will share them with the county, and Santa Ynez Valley neighbors.
Because of its status as a sovereign government, the tribe doesn’t have to go through the county planning process to expand.
The relationship between the tribe, and the county has already been difficult recently, with the county opposing the tribe’s efforts to get federal permission to expand its reservation land.