Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Kern County Approved by Gov. Newsom

  • Gov. Gavin Newsom and the Tejon Indian Tribe signed a state-tribal gaming compact on Monday.
  • The agreement approves the construction of a Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Kern County.
  • The project is locaed 14 miles south of Bakersfield and sandwiched between Interstate 5 and Highway 99 split.

Governor Gavin Newsom and the Tejon Indian Tribe signed a state-tribal gaming agreement on Monday that approves the construction of a Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Kern County.

Under the compact, a 300-acre lot will be taken in favor of the tribe with 52 acres of the said parcel to be used as the site of the casino complex and the remaining area for tribal purposes.

This development is a big step for the Tejon tribe which has been landless for more than 150 years, according to a press release from the tribe. The casino resort will be operated by the Tejon Tribe and Hard Rock International which is owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida.

A Casino as Big as a Costco Store

The proposed Kern casino complex will be constructed on a 300-acre lot 14 miles south of Bakersfield. The project, which is sandwiched between the Interstate 5 and Highway 99 split, would have a casino as big as a Costco store. The hotel will have 400 rooms, making it the largest in Kern County. The complex will also have a spa and fitness center, a resort-style pool, 13 restaurants and bars, and the largest convention space in Kern County.

According to its proposal, the project will bring an estimated 1,000 construction jobs and 2,000 new permanent jobs to Kern County with an estimated payroll of $59 million. It is also expected to perk up the economy and bring in $600 million in activity once fully operational.

More than a Decade in the Making

This project has been talked about for years. Per Tejon tribal chairwoman Kathryn Moses-Morgan, she submitted the project’s paperwork to the Bureau of Indian Affairs way back in 2006 to regain federal recognition of their tribe. The tribe possessed a government treaty dated 1851 but they were mistakenly left off the list in 1967 before being re-added in 2012.

In July 2021, the Las Vegas-based SCCR Tejon LLC bought 300 acres of land for more than $10 million. 52 acres of the land was to be split between the casino and hotel while 22 acres were allocated to an RV Park. The remaining portion of the land was to be used for tribal purposes such as housing and a health facility.

Shane Acedera / Author

Shane grew up watching the Magic & Bird rivalry but ended up rooting for Detroit's Bad Boys team in the 1990s NBA. He loves to tell sports stories and has been writing about sports since high school. When Shane isn't busy jotting down his thoughts, he's just chillin' at home with his wife Rocelle and their two dogs named Horry and Fisher. He recently added a new family member, adopting a handsome retired K-9 named Ranger.

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