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A 150-room hotel will be built adjacent to the Viejas casino, where the Bingo Pavilion is currently located, tribal officials announced Wednesday.
Construction will begin in the first quarter of next year. When completed in early 2013, the hotel will have a pool, fitness room and business center. The hotel will be located on the east side of the casino, which is off Interstate 8 and East Willows Road in Alpine.
The construction plans also include expansion to the seating area of the Harvest Buffet.
The $36 million project is expected to create more than 400 construction jobs and an unknown number of positions once the hotel is up and running in early 2013.
"A project like this takes on added significance in a challenging economic environment, where every new job means so much to local families and the local economy," said Scott Alevy, chief executive of the San Diego East County Chamber of Commerce.
"Beyond the local construction jobs, this new hotel will have a positive impact on local businesses that provide goods and services to Viejas Casino, the retail center and now the hotel," he said.
Tribal Chairman Anthony Pico said it will help keep them competitive.
"I think it gives us another amenity to increase the guests that we have who will come and stay for a longer period of time. As far as the economy being down, America is very strong, we will come back," said Pico.
Swinerton Inc., which has built other hotels in the region, was selected to be the general contractor.
Indian gaming revenue has been down in California in recent years, but a 2009 poll showed in spite of that, 60 percent of the people in San Diego went to a casino.
Local tourism officials called the new hotel an economic driver for the region.
"This is really the first thing you come to when you come to San Diego from Arizona and places east of there so this provides a great opportunity for people to stay and enjoy themselves," said Alevy.
The hotel could be as high as seven stories, and Pico said they're working with the county to address concerns over noise and traffic.
Construction is expected to begin in early 2012.