San Manuel Band Celebrates Topping Off of Resort Expansion 

Ceremony attendees look up as a the final steel beam is laid on the 17th floor of the San Manuel hotel tower. (San Manuel)

San Manuel Casino is widely considered a powerhouse in the Southern California gaming industry. But prior to 1986, when San Manuel introduced its first gaming facility, dirt roads snaked across their small, mountainous land base. Five HUD homes stood on the reservation; jobs were are a rarity; and oftentimes, the annual Tribal budget hovered around $300. 

The economic landscape looks differently today on the San Manuel Indian Reservation — nestled at the foothills of a high and rugged mountain range, the San Bernardino Mountains.

This month, the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians celebrated a significant milestone that represents further business expansion. 

The final steel beam was recently laid in place on the 17th floor of the San Manuel Casino resort expansion project. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians hosted an intimate, topping-off ceremony just over 27 months after the project broke ground on July 25, 2018.

Thirty-four years ago, prior to the introduction of gaming, San Manuel’s annual Tribal budget rarely exceeded $300. Today the Tribe is among the top 10 largest employers in San Bernardino County in the private sector. (San Manuel)

The socially-distanced event celebrates significant business progress, and included an updated timeline for the phased opening of the expansion.

“This endeavor advances the continued development of our tribal government and economy, and as importantly, creates permanent jobs and opportunities for the region—which is our home,” said Ken Ramirez, Chairman of the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians. 

“Today we take an important step toward these goals, and recognize the hard work of our team who is helping us get there. We look forward to sharing our Tribe’s vision of hospitality with our guests in this new expansion.”

San Manuel hosted an intimate but socially distanced topping off ceremony. (San Manuel)

Several Tribal leaders and Executive Leadership spoke to the small audience including San Manuel Band of Mission Indians Chairman Ken Ramirez and several members of the Business Committee. The topping-off event was commemorated by wrapping the final beam with tarps that were signed by Tribal Citizens and San Manuel team members before being placed at the top of the structure. 

San Manuel Casino’s resort expansion released a timeline update: 

  • Phase One: The opening of the casino’s expanded gaming space plus a 24-hour restaurant and a high-end dining venue as well as three new retail shops is scheduled for Summer 2021. 
  • Phase Two: The opening of San Manuel’s first onsite hotel in Winter 2021 will feature 429 luxury rooms and suites as well as additional food and beverage options, a full-service spa and a pool deck featuring its own bar and private cabanas. 
  • Phase Three: The opening of San Manuel’s event venue is currently scheduled for 2022. 

The San Manuel Casino resort expansion is expected to add more than 2,000 new team members to its current headcount of 4,500. San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is currently a top-10 private employer in San Bernardino County. 

A rendering of San Manuel Hotel (San Manuel)

Tribal leaders celebrate the topping off ceremony of San Manuel Hotel (San Manuel)

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