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Black Oak Casino Helps Local Economy

29 June 2005

TUOLUMNE, California – (PRESS RELEASE) -- Black Oak Casino is proving to be more than the most exciting new attraction in the Sierra foothills, it is becoming a major benefit to the economic and tourism development of Tuolumne County.

"The tourism industry in Tuolumne County is extremely fortunate to have Black Oak Casino as an exciting new attraction," said Nanci Sikes, executive director of the Tuolumne County Visitors Bureau/Yosemite North. "It is a 'major tourism partner' in marketing Tuolumne County as a destination. The very professional and community minded executives and staff make the casino a tremendous regional asset and a real joy to work with!"

The Tuolumne Band of Me-Wuk Indians mission is to "Build a Sense of Community Through Sharing." The Rancheria has developed to include many community-enriching facilities such as Black Oak Casino, the Tuolumne Me-Wuk Indians Health Center, the development of the Westside Property, the creation of new Tribal housing, and the new highway bypass to the casino, which is slated to break ground this month.

Sikes added: "Black Oak Casino is one of the best things to happen to Tuolumne County and will continue to benefit our visitor industry and our community for many years to come."

With the casino expansion, approximately 350 additional jobs became available at the casino in addition to the 400 positions originally supporting the Phase I Black Oak Casino operations.

"Our total annual payroll has steadily increased from under $5 million in 2001 to a projected amount of $25 million by the end of this year," said Ron Patel, casino manager.

The largest percentage of these Team Members live in the community and their paychecks help support local service suppliers and retailers. In addition, many tribal members and numerous Team Members are involved in Community non-profit efforts, volunteer fire departments, volunteer emergency medical services, youth sports, and other worthwhile activities.

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