The Jamul Indian Village Tribe is expanding its Jamul Casino with the construction of a $240 million boutique hotel and parking garage.
The 16-story hotel will put the casino in a better position to compete with other casinos in the region, said Mary Cheeks, general manager of Jamul Casino.
“We’ve experienced such tremendous growth, we need a hotel to continue that trend,” Cheeks said. “The key objective is profitability and supplying guests with what they want. A hotel is the most asked for amenity by Jamul’s guests.”
Most see a trip to the casino as “a staycation,” Cheeks said, adding: “They’re asking for a get-away. It’s just adult fun that you could go for several days and just have a blast.”
The hotel part of the staycation is meant to be a place where people can take a break from the more boisterous atmosphere of the casino, Cheeks said.
“When our guests leave the high energy of the casino, we want to welcome them into a retreat environment. Luxury inspired by nature is the vision,” she added.
According to Cheeks, about 8,000 people visit the casino every day, and most come from within a 30-mile radius.
Designed by Robert Gdowski, principal and director of hospitality design at JCJ Architecture, based in downtown San Diego, the hotel will have 200 rooms, including 52 suites.
The standard guest rooms will be 450 square feet, and the suites will range from 750 square feet to 1,200 square feet.
Nightly room rates will be set closer to when the hotel is scheduled to open in late 2024, Cheeks said.
The hotel will include 1,000 square feet of retail space with a gift shop and a restaurant offering a variety of menu options, like those offered in the casino.
“Whatever fits your fancy, we can accommodate,” Cheeks said.
There will be outdoor patios at various locations in and around the hotel and a rooftop pool.
The 375,000 square-foot casino hotel “was imagined as a crystalline jewel floating against the Jamul Mountains,” Gdowski said.
“It fits in with the communities, the nature surrounding the neighborhood around Jamul. I’m so proud of it,” said Erica M. Pinto, who chairs the Jamul Indian Village and the village board.
“We want to wow everybody,” Pinto said. “In only a few short years since opening, I’m proud that we can capitalize on our success in operating the Jamul Casino with the development of a luxury hotel.”
Gdowski said that architects “latched onto the metaphor of a jewel box” for the hotel early on “as it allowed the entire team to understand that what was in the hotel was to be treasured.”
CW Driver is the general contractor – the same firm that built the casino.
The glass and steel façade of the hotel gives it a crystalline look, “capturing the vibrant colors of the valley skies in the evening,” Gdowski said. “The color palette used within the hotel was extracted from the surrounding mountains, using neutral and earthy tones.”
The hotel lobby will have high ceilings with an undulating glass droplet chandelier, evocative of the Jamul logo – a stylized drop of water.
In a nod to the tribe’s history, art and photos depicting the tribe and their land will be placed throughout the hotel.
The hotel will include a hidden speakeasy with outdoor space. Pinto said that finding the speakeasy will be part of the fun for hotel guests.
“That will set us apart,” Pinto said.
Opened in October 2016, the $430 million casino is owned and operated by Jamul Indian Village Development Corp., a wholly owned enterprise of the Jamul Indian Village, one of 13 federally recognized tribes of the Kumeyaay Nation.
The casino has nearly 1,700 slot machines, 46 live tables and a dedicated poker room – and supports 1,200 permanent jobs, according to the tribe.
General Manager: Mary Cheeks
Notable: Jamul Casino is the closest casino to downtown San Diego.