After a $50 million renovation, Bicycle Casino in Bell Gardens has a 99-room hotel, including a gym.
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The Bicycle Casino at Bell Gardens is a noisy, unassuming place dominated by card tables, but once the gambling is done, players have no reason to stay beyond the bar and deli.
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Now, after a $50 million renovation unveiled last month, the club boasts a 99-room hotel, complete with gym, outdoor pool, spa and sauna, and a sit-down restaurant with 28 beers on tap. the pump.
"With the hotel here, you don't just come to play, you come to eat and relax," said Nichoel Jurgens, a professional poker player who has been visiting the casino for about 11 years.
Players are finally shaking off the effects of the Great Recession, and Southern California casinos are doubling down on expansion and renovation projects to give guests more reasons to stay longer. The casino is also targeting younger customers - especially millennials.
The Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians began work last month on the $285 million project that will add a 568-room hotel wing, a two-story spa and salon, a spa and two restaurants to the casino and restaurant in Temecula.
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Pala Casino Spa & Resort in North San Diego County recently completed a $5.7 million renovation that included a new underground cave and outdoor patio dining room to accommodate more shows and performances.
"I think we're trying to expand our offerings to reach a new audience," said Mike Crenshaw, Pala's vice president of casino operations.
Although casino revenues have steadily increased since the recession, casino officials are concerned that their most loyal customers - the baby boomers - may be putting up the final prize. young millennials are not as interested in gambling as the older generation.
"In general, the gaming industry is trying to attract millennials," said Alan P. Meister, gaming industry expert and chief economist at Nathan Associates. “It's a different demographic to deal with. There are different types of games and entertainment or entertainment needed to reach the millennials. "
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Southern California's casino renaissance reflects a broader push across the country to capitalize on renewed interest in gambling after the recession, industry experts say.
Many states have introduced new forms of gambling, such as racing, sports and video game betting.
Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have legalized poker and other table games in casinos and racetracks.
In Southern California, casino officials say the number of customers hasn't dropped during the recession, but the amount of gambling has. Over the past five or six years, the stakes have gradually increased, they say.
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"After the recession, the final numbers are historically low," said Pechanga Tribal Chairman Mark Macarro. "We started to see an uptick in 2011. Things got better every month."
Spending by gamblers nationwide rose 0.6 percent in 2014 compared to the previous year, with the number of games played nationwide increasing, according to the survey. by the Nelson A. Rockefeller Institute of Government in New. York;
In California, revenue from Indian casinos rose 3.5 percent in fiscal year 2015 compared to the previous year, said Lucy Dadayan, a senior policy analyst at the Rockefeller Institute.
Dadayan said casinos should be careful when investing in expansion projects because increased gambling revenue is often short-lived.
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He said casinos may struggle to attract millennials because members of that generation are more likely to spend their extra money on travel and dining than gambling.
"They may be trying to attract them, but I haven't seen much growth in millennials visiting casinos," Dadayan said.
A new online survey of 2,800 American adults by travel marketing firm MMGY Global found that millennials expect to travel more in 2016 than in 2015, but the Only 38% of respondents said that casino gambling is an important part of their vacation. In comparison, 70 percent of millennials said that trying new foods is an important part of their vacation plans, the report said.
The results of such surveys aren't stopping Southern California casino officials from trying to attract new players with renovated casino floors, additional spa treatments and new sports bars, among other additions.
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The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians invested nearly $50 million to renovate the San Manuel Indian Bingo and Casino in Highland with a new and larger gambling hall, an Asian-inspired ballroom and restaurants and facilities. many new drinks.
"When you go to San Manuel, you'll know we take gambling," said Loren Gill, the casino's general manager.
In Cabazon, Morongo Casino Resort & Spa opened a new high-end casino in October with new Asian-style decor featuring Chinese statues that represent luck and fortune. Guests are also offered a new premium tea service.
Morongo Chief Operating Officer John James said the resort is discussing future expansion plans to take advantage of the improving economy and attract new guests.
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He declined to discuss the details of the next expansion, but added, “We want to offer more things to our guests. We want to keep you updated here. "
Just one month after opening its new 99-room hotel, the casino plans to renovate the casino floor. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed in February.
At the hotel's restaurant, called Bike Brewery, Alan Velasquez, 27, of Huntington Park, was eating lunch and watching football on a large television above the bar. It's the type of millennial that Bicycle Casino hopes will stick around longer — and spend more.
Velasquez said youngsters like him honed their gambling skills online and now visit casinos to test their skills against real players. "It's more exciting to be here in person," he said.
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Asked if the casino's hotels and restaurants enticed him to stay longer, Velasquez raised his beer glass.
Hugo Martín is an assistant editor at the Fast Break Desk, the news team of the Los Angeles Times. He has been a reporter for the Los Angeles Times for more than 30 years, covering politics, transportation, travel, business and the outdoors. Martin, a California native, was a Pulitzer Prize-winning Metro employee in 1993, 1995 and 1998. He is an avid outdoorsman, proud father and Lakers fan. The San Manuel Band of Serrano Mission Indians is a federally recognized American Indian tribe located near Highland, California. Their reservation was established in 1891 and they were recognized as a nation with the right to self-government. The San Manuel Casino was built in 1986 as a bingo hall on the San Manuel Reservation to generate revenue for government services, programs and infrastructure. San Manuel Casino is now the only place for fun and entertainment in Southern California. The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians is a top 10 private employer in San Bernardino County with over 4,500 members and growing.
First impressions mean everything. Find out how the owner works to put guests first and try to achieve the wow factor throughout the house.
Learn what the team is doing to ensure the best experience for guests and team members and minimize the risk of accidents and injuries.
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Meet our seasoned team members who talk about the growth and journey of being at San Manuel Casino for over a decade.
Career advice, real stories, unique journeys… learn how to increase your value from this diverse group of leaders.
Get advice from leaders who have worked in other industries and found success at San Manuel Casino.
This is an event that includes several sections within the San Manuel Casino and Tribal. You will have the opportunity to view current job openings, meet and discuss with hiring managers, receive potential job offers, and learn more about our entire business and future Casino expansion.
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Registration is required. You can register in a few simple steps at . Registration is open until the day of the Exhibition.
We still love to connect with you! We will send communication to participants. You are also welcome to attend the program by using the Careers page and apply directly to the role of your choice.
Prepare as if you are attending a special event. Have an electronic copy of your resume and be prepared to discuss your experience, skills and why you are the best fit in San Manuel. Also, be prepared to walk on camera. Sit in a well-lit area, test your microphone and video before the event, and make sure there are no distractions.
We are connected by phone! You can also use a laptop, desktop or tablet! All you need is a device with a camera and a secure internet connection.
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