Inyo Supervisors look at casino, hotel project

inyo_courthouse.jpgAlthough the Independence area seems unlikely for major development, the Fort Independence Indian Tribe has plans for a hotel and casino. Inyo County has a legal right to address impacts and benefits. The Inyo Planning Director has prepared a letter to the Tribe. The Inyo Supervisors will consider it when they meet Tuesday.

The County’s letter will respond to a Notice of Preparation of a Draft Tribal Environmental Impact Report. Inyo planners say that the first project phase includes an 80,000 square foot gaming floor with up to 800 gaming machines and table games, a 60-room, four-story hotel tower and related facilities. Planners wrote that Phase 2 would include restaurants, and other facilities and amenities. Full build-out would include a conference center, multi-purpose event center and more.

Planners said that the Tribe’s compact with the State requires an environmental investigation of the project and an agreement with Inyo County to address benefits and impacts.

In its proposed letter to the Tribe, Inyo officials note that the hotel-casino project has potential benefits but that an economic analysis is needed. The letter says the project could “significantly impact local services and infrastructure.” The County letter says the Tribe’s EIR should address impacts to County services including health, social services, law enforcement, emergency response, planning, roads and traffic, landfill, transit, and recreation.

The project site is north and west of the Tribe’s existing gas station and mini-mart on Highway 395. The Notice of Preparation mentions environmental effects of land use, population and housing, transportation, air quality and water quality. It does not mention source of water supply for the big project.

In other matters before the Inyo Supervisors Tuesday, Forest Supervisor Ed Armenta will talk about the Inyo Forest Plan update and revision. That’s at 10am. Under departmental, the Planning Department will conduct a workshop on Neighborhood Planning for Healthy Aging. Planners have focused on Lone Pine and have suggestions for better transit, shopping and access to services for the growing elderly population in all of Inyo County. Planners will ask for direction in implementing projects.

8 Responses to Inyo Supervisors look at casino, hotel project

  1. The Aggressive Progressive! September 11, 2013 at 7:34 am #

    I personally would like to see tribes get into the industrial organic farming, their own renewable energy’s, utilizing hemp (not the stimulating kind) or any other avenue rather then the typical casino. Tribes have to start somewhere, I mean when you take their land, take their resources, take the very means and ways that made their lives sustainable, and put them on land that has boarders and hence left with community’s that need handouts to survive since all other ways of survival have been off limits, Tribes don’t have that much sovereignty, tribes just like everybody else in this country have been enabled to become consumers to the established powers and international corporations.. Oh but please go on about your freedom and how you love this status quo of no privacy for security. How free can one be when we are limited with information and have to vote for those that scratch the backs of the established powers the most, you call that freedom?

  2. Trouble September 9, 2013 at 5:16 pm #

    I hope the tribe makes a killing off this project. It’s their land and their investment.

  3. Desert Tortoise September 9, 2013 at 4:08 pm #

    Of course this will be much less of an eyesore and deplete local resources far less than a PV installation three or four miles southeast of Manzanar. I mean, naturally. Right? Just sayin’ …

    • Eastern Sierra Local September 9, 2013 at 11:52 pm #

      Where are the “Concerned Citizens of Independence” when you REALLY need them?

    • Philip Anaya September 10, 2013 at 3:21 pm #

      Hey DT, The proposed PV Solar Ranch Site is northeast of Manzanar. The refracted sunlight from it’s 2 square miles of south facing static panels will be the worst part of this proposed eyesore for the Historic Site of Manzanar and Highway 395.

  4. Curious September 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    I was just wondering if the Supervisors asked the Bishop Tribe about the impacts to the County services when they were planning a casino/resort. Things like sewer, water, security etc. What were their answers?

  5. Big Rick OBrien September 9, 2013 at 3:33 pm #

    3 friends and myself stopped in to the tribal casino in Bishop a few months back because of the no table games in the El Capitan in Hawthorne, and we will NEVER go back. We were treated like outcasts from the minute we stepped inside, the 300 lbs.+ security guards mad-dogging us nonstop, the most un-friendly dealers we have ever met, a 10 oz. glass of beer was 5 dollars (in advance) . The entire experience SUCKED ! I’m hoping that whoever just bought the Montgomery Pass property for 90 grand has plans to build a NEW casino, (a REAL one) Nevada style gaming. The tribal casino’s just don’t make it…and BTW, with the exception of the Piaute Casino in Bishop, I have NEVER,EVER, in my life, had to pay for a drink in advance. How ’bout you ?

  6. Eastern Sierra Local September 9, 2013 at 8:39 am #

    An excellent project on behalf of the Fort Independence Tribe….now it remains to be seen if it actually gets built.
    I wonder what the Bishop Tribe is thinking now since they just voted to NOT build a casino/resort/spa in Bishop.


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