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Tribe Tries Again for Amador County Casino

15 May 2006

IONE, California -- As reported by the Sacramento Business Journal: "Details for a $200 million casino near Ione could be hashed out this summer by Amador County and the Buena Vista Rancheria of Me-Wuk Indians -- again.

"A tribal plan for Flying Cloud Casino was rejected last year by the governor's office because it failed to include the impact on the surrounding area.

"The tribe pulled that plan, hired an environmental consulting firm and started from scratch again this year.

"To get the governor's OK to operate a casino, tribes must complete Tribal Environmental Impact Reports, which must detail ways to address problems from the development.

"The tribe is proposing a 70,000-square-foot casino, featuring 2,000 slot machines and 80 gaming tables. It would have at least five restaurants, meeting space, lounges and an entertainment venue. The development would include a nine-story, 3,000-stall parking garage. The casino would have parking for 3,500 vehicles.

"Seventeen acres of the 67-acre Rancheria land would be used for the development. The rest of the land would be designated as an archaeological and biological resource protection area...

"The casino would be about 30 miles from Sacramento and Stockton, amid the burgeoning wine districts of Amador and El Dorado counties.

"Flying Cloud Casino would be just slightly smaller than the successful Thunder Valley Casino outside of Lincoln and Cache Creek Casino Resort in Brooks. It would be larger than the Jackson Rancheria Casino, about 10 miles further to the east.

"Amador County officials want a smaller casino. But Flying Cloud is the same size as the previous plan, with a promise of more detail on the environmental study. Jones & Stokes in Sacramento is handling the environmental report for the tribe...

"The county remains concerned about impacts on law enforcement, roads, fire protection, the environment, traffic and public safety, said Amador County administrator Pat Blacklockā€¦

"The county continues to challenge whether the tribe has the right to operate a casino on the land. The tribe has had federal opinions in its favor from regulatory agencies but no legal decisions, Blacklock saidā€¦"

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