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Barona Casino Pays Homage to Past

11 December 2002

BARONA INDIAN RESERVATION, California – As reported by the San Diego Union Tribune: " – From a distance it looks like a huge, white barn with towers and a silo.

"But San Diego County's largest and most expensive hotel-casino, which opens unofficially today, is anything but hicksville.

"The Lakeside-area tribe spent a quarter-billion dollars and hired top Las Vegas designers to build a lavish monument to the reservation's establishment in 1932.

"…`Today our dream of owning a world-class resort destination has come true,' said tribal Chairman Clifford LaChappa in an e-mail statement.

"The official opening of the Barona Valley Ranch Resort & Casino will be Dec. 31.

"…Patrons coming from the parking garage will go down a long hallway with airport-style moving walkways on the sides. Along the way, they might notice some of the casino's hundreds of early 1900s artifacts and thousands of framed art works.

"…The 85,000 square feet of gaming space will have 2,000 slot machines and 52 card tables.

"…In the high-roller area with 88 machines and six tables, gamblers can wager $5 to $1,000 on one slot pull or $25 to $5,000 on a hand of blackjack. Between bets, they can retreat to a lounge with mahogany furniture and textured wallpaper. The VIP restrooms have block-granite walls and marble floors.

"…The casino and restaurant walls are adorned with memorabilia from the early 1900s to 1930s – a horse's neck harness; a wood-handled scythe; a framed ticket to the 1932 World Olympics in Los Angeles.

"…The more than 500 artifacts were purchased by interior designer Larry Rafferty of Las Vegas, who scoured auctions, roadside stands and other sources across the country…"

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