Opinion - The Wilton Rancheria Resort & Casino Project Will Create More, Not Fewer Fine-Dining Options in Elk Grove

By Raymond C. Hitchcock, Chairman, Wilton Rancheria | September 10, 2017 |   

Chairman Hitchcock was invited to provide a response to a story posted on this site yesterday. Below is his submission. | 

ElkGroveNew.net has devoted a lot of space giving voice to opponents of the Wilton Rancheria resort and casino project in Elk Grove—secretly funded opponents who pose as “community activists” but in fact are professional political consultants, lobbyists and high-priced lawyers. 

At the same time, EGN has largely ignored the overwhelming community support and positive impact the project will have on jobs and economic growth, and the more than $180 million investment the Tribe will make to support city and county services over just the first 20 years of operation. 

But the latest blatantly biased editorial opinion feebly disguised as news reporting on EGN has crossed over from wrong-headed to absurd. Yes, one of the most important aspects of our project is a commitment to bring unique, fine-dining experiences to Elk Grove, something the city needs and which will make the experience of living in the area much more enjoyable. 

But will these new restaurant options present unfair competition to big, national restaurant chains? Seriously? Whatever challenges these mega-chains face is their business. Our priority is to give our community new dining options and experiences beyond the big chains that today are the norm for restaurants in Elk Grove.

And any comparison of our project to Walmart is, well, laughable. To argue that we are to the national restaurant chains what Walmart is to the small, independently owned retailer is ludicrous to say the least.

We are excited to be creating an entertainment destination that everyone can enjoy - a first-rate hotel, fine dining, convention and concert venues and, yes, a casino. We hope the people of Elk Grove and the larger Sacramento region will enjoy the experiences; the feedback from the community has been overwhelmingly positive. This is truly a community project -a community to which we proudly belong and are committed to supporting.

Photo - Wilton Rancheria Tribal Chairman Raymond C. Hitchcock (center) along with California Assemblymember Jim Cooper (l) and former Elk Grove Mayor Gary Davis at the February 14, 2017 dedication of the proposed $400 million casino in Elk Grove.

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D.J. Blutarsky said...

Las Vegas-based Boyd Gaming is using the Wilton tribal status to expand their portfolio of smaller, regional casinos. It does not matter to me who is funding the casino resort, nor who is funding the opposition for that matter.

Boyd Gaming will operate a casino resort that provides value to their stockholders and will compensate the recognized tribal members accordingly for the use of their tribal status.

Boyd Gaming will feed their hungry customers and the market will determine what the menu looks like. We don't know what impact the casino resort will have on existing businesses, but in Darwin terms, only the strongest will survive.

Boyd Gaming will continue to inject private capital to fund the casino resort. Any job or economic benefit that occurs will be the direct result of their investment. Others can brag away at what they may have accomplished or will accomplish, but it is the Boyd stockholders who are carrying the water. Thank you Wilton Rancheria for lending your name.

Unknown said...

Bravo to Elk Grove News for providing a reasonable voice here. That earlier piece about the casino and dining options is absurd. Hitchcock is right - there is a strong contingency fighting this casino because their out-of-town businesses would lose money. Hopefully we can move forward with the casino soon and development of whatever shopping option will be located adjacent to the casino.

Eye on Elk Grove said...

Raymond “Chuckie” Hitchcock writes, “But the latest blatantly biased editorial opinion feebly disguised as news reporting on EGN has crossed over from wrong-headed to absurd.”

It what EGN writes is so absurd, as you write, why give it any of your own ink especially on a weekend by writing a long Op Ed filled with grandiose expectations?

Unless, of course, these writings are getting under your skin or you are attracted to absurdities?

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