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Pauma Peels Back Curtain on Casino Plan

The Pauma Band of Mission Indians has offered a few more details of the expanded casino it would like to build.

A preliminary document received by San Diego County officials Jan. 19 says the tribe plans a 171,000-square-foot casino on its inland North County reservation. Some 90,600 square feet would be devoted to gaming and could hold up to 2,500 slot machines. Also planned is a 400-room hotel with a 2-acre pool and a resort spa.

That contrasts with the current Casino Pauma, which has fewer than half that many slot machines , 1,090 , and a total area of 85,000 square feet. At present, Casino Pauma has no hotel, though three casinos within easy driving distance do have them.

Pauma is teaming up with the Mashantucket Pequot tribe of Connecticut and its Foxwoods Development Co. to build and operate the casino. The $300 million project would require two years of construction. When the alliance was announced in June, the partners predicted an opening date of spring 2009.

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Pauma’s proposed casino complex would also include:

– Retail stores and several restaurants, ranging from a buffet to a “high-end” dining establishment.

– A 1,500-seat multipurpose events center.

– Conference facilities.

– A 2,500-seat outdoor amphitheater.

– Parking spaces for 4,500 cars, including a 2,000-space parking garage.

Tierra Environmental Services of Scripps Ranch is handling the Pauma tribe’s environmental reports.

, Brad Graves

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