The Tejon Indian Tribe and Hard Rock International, owned by the Seminole Tribe of Florida, have entered into a joint venture, with the latter brought into to develop and manage the $600m Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tejon project, to be located in south Kern County, California.
The facility will be developed on a portion of a 306-acre parcel of land, located approximately 25 minutes south of Bakersfield, off Highway 99 near the 166 Mettler exit. The 306 acres will be taken into trust by the federal government for the benefit of the Tejon Tribe.
52 acres of the site will be devoted to the resort hotel and casino, while 22 adjacent acres will be designated for an RV park. The remainder of the property will be used for other tribal purposes including administrative offices, a health facility, housing and supporting infrastructure.
“The Tejon Indian Tribe has a proud history in Kern County,” said Octavio Escobedo, Tejon Tribe chairman. “We welcome this partnership with Hard Rock International, one of the world’s most widely recognized brands, as an important step for our Tribe and know that this project will be a great economic driver. It will bring positive benefits for our tribal citizens as well as for the Kern County community for decades to come. Good paying jobs and career opportunities translate into better healthcare, education and economic independence.”
“Hard Rock International is excited to partner with the Tejon Indian Tribe, assisting in the achievement of their long-term goals,” said Jim Allen, chairman and CEO of Hard Rock International. “We look forward to building a first-class project with the Tejon Indian Tribe that equals our hotel and casino projects across the world.”
The Hard Rock Tejon project’s economic impact on Kern County is likely to be substantial. The project is expected to create more than 1,000 construction jobs and over 2,000 permanent jobs once completed, plus creating additional work due to the economic multiplier effect during construction and after opening.
The project will provide a complete resort experience for its guests and will include a hotel, 13 restaurants and bars, a Rock Spa and fitness facility, the largest conference and meeting space in Kern County and a Hard Rock Live concert venue.
On funding for the development, Escobedo noted: “Our project will be privately financed, not costing taxpayers a single dime, and employment opportunities will be available to all qualified applicants, not just tribal members.”
Richard Chapman, CEO of Kern Economic Development Corporation, commented: “Kern County will reap significant economic benefits from this exciting $600m hospitality and entertainment project. The region will also experience a tremendous influx of ‘new money’ into our local economy as the resort will draw people from throughout California. The Hard Rock brand is iconic in the industry and will further add to the value of the development.”