COARSEGOLD — More than 14 months after a federal judge ordered the closing of the Chukchansi Gold Resort and Casino over public and employee safety concerns, the doors will be reopened and employees will return to work, according to District 5 Supervisor Tom Wheeler.
Thursday, Dec. 31, at 10 a.m. has been announced as the first day of business at the popular Coarsegold casino.
A grand opening event has been scheduled for Jan. 15.
The casino has been closed since a conflict between factions erupted into violence, prompting an injunction by a U.S. District Court judge on Oct. 10, 2014.
“This is a great Christmas present for the community, and is going to make things better for a lot of families,” says Wheeler, referring to the more than 1,000 jobs that will be returning.
Wheeler also says the Picayune Rancheria of Chukchansi Indians submitted a $2.2 million payment to Madera County on Dec. 23 — $1.2 million was a back- payment on money the tribe already owed the County, and $1 million was a down payment on a fire engine for Station 8. The ladder engine is necessary for firefighters to be able to adequately protect the 11-story hotel structure at the resort.
The total cost of the fire engine will be about $1.5 million, says Wheeler, and will be delivered by the end of 2016.