The new Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms is a hit. Less than half an hour after the casino opened its doors to the public, it had reached its capacity crowd of just over 1100 people. Congressman Paul Cook of Yucca Valley, Congressman Raul Ruiz of Palm Springs, San Bernardino Supervisor James Ramos, Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit, and Twentynine Palms Mayor Dan Mintz, were among the VIPs and dignitaries who welcomed the casino to Twentynine Palms. Managing editor Tami Roleff was at the grand opening event, and files this report…
Tribal Chairman Darrell Mike of the Twentynine Palms Band of Mission Indians, which owns the Spotlight 29 Casino in Coachella, welcomed tribal members and invited guests during a private reception and ribbon cutting prior to the official opening of the Tortoise Rock Casino in Twentynine Palms Monday. “This was a long hard journey. We ironed it out, we’re here, and we’re back home. A toast to the future of this community and what lies ahead. So with that, Twentynine Palms, thank you all for showing up and your support and I can’t wait to start working with the community.” Congressman Paul Cook of Yucca Valley said it was good to have the tribe back home. “This is a special day for the Morongo Basin, Twentynine Palms. The jobs, the economy, more than that, just the connection again with the ancestral homelands.” Twentynine Palms Mayor Dan Mintz said the city was excited about having the casino. “We’re looking forward to a partnership with the tribe. As we can see, there are a lot of folks here that aren’t actually from Twentynine Palms. That’s what we’re hoping to bring in, tourism, and I think this is really going to help us. We appreciate your being here and we’re looking forward to a long partnership.” Riverside County Supervisor John Benoit said he knew another group who’d be excited about the casino. “This is great for the economy, good for the community. I’m sure the Marines will appreciate the opportunity to recreate here.”
The new casino employs about 180 people, has 490 slot machines, and table games including black jack, Spanish 21, three card poker, and Texas Hold ’Em. Live entertainment will be offered every Friday and Saturday night in the lounge.