(KERO) — Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a tribal-state gaming agreement with the Tejon Indian Tribe clearing the way for the proposed Hard Rock Hotel and Casino to be built south of Bakersfield.
The agreement sets aside 320 acres for a tribal homeland. The casino will sit on 52 acres bringing nearly 5,000 new jobs to Kern County. Tribal leaders say the remaining land will be used for housing, administrative offices, a healthcare facility, and supporting infrastructure.
“We, the Tejon Indian Tribe of the Kitanemuk nation, extend a heartfelt thank you to Governor Newsom and his staff for their efforts in approving our two-part application for gaming eligibility and the tribal-state gaming compact. This has been a long but worthwhile journey for the Tribe,” said Octavio Escobedo III, Chair of the Tejon Indian Tribe. “These decisions were necessary and significant steps toward the development of a tribal homeland for our Tribe, which has been landless for more than 150 years. Self-determination has been a priority since the Tribe was affirmed and federally recognized. From the start of our relationship with the United States government in 1851, our Tribe has fought for a homeland for our people.
The compact now moves to the state legislature for ratification.
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“This is a historic day for the Tejon Indian Tribe and we congratulate them on today’s announcement,” said Chairman of Hard Rock International Jim Allen. “We look forward to working with the State, the Tribe and Kern County officials to create over 4,900 jobs as we bring our unique brand of casino entertainment to the region.”
The site is located off Hwy 99 north of the 166 between Valpredo Ave and Wild Flower Street.
The Tejon Indian Tribe has 1,200 members and is the only federally recognized tribe in Kern County.