Tribe moves ahead with Central California casino plan

Fresno, California (AP) Febuary 2011

An American Indian tribe is moving forward with plans to build a $250 million casino in northeast Fresno County.

The Big Sandy Rancheria Band of Western Mono Indians is seeking public comment on its report detailing how the project will affect travel, land use and other environmental factors.

The proposed casino would be located on a 48-acre site near Friant and would include a 75,000-square-foot gambling floor, an entertainment hall and a 300-room hotel.

The project has been in the works since 2004, and the tribe has switched development partners twice since then.

Tribal council spokeswoman Elizabeth Kipp tells the Fresno Bee that the delay is not related to the struggling economy or problems with investors.

Kipp says the casino would create about 1,500 local jobs.