Chumash award $112M hotel contract, eye October groundbreaking
Tutor Perini Corp. has been selected to head up construction of the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians’ controversial hotel expansion project. The building contract for the property at 3400 E. Highway 246 in Santa Ynez is valued at $112 million, Sylmar-based Tutor Perini said in a statement.
It’s the first time a dollar amount has been publicly attached to the polarizing project, which has pit the tribe against slow-growth advocates in Santa Barbara County. The tribe recently announced plans to move forward with the project after approving its own environmental impact report despite concerns from the county Board of Supervisors.
As a sovereign entity, the Chumash tribe has broad leeway to develop without the constraints of local zoning and planning rules.
The hotel expansion project includes construction of a 12-story hotel tower that will add 215 more rooms, a 20,000-square-foot pool deck, a parking garage, expansion of the existing casino gaming floor, and additional food and beverage venues. The current facility is about 190,000 square feet and includes 106 hotel rooms, with 17 luxury suites.
Objections against the project include concerns that the massive expansion will put further strain on county water and public-safety resources. The tribe has said the Board of Supervisors’ concerns are not supported by evidence but that discussions with the county will remain open.
Construction is scheduled to begin in October and mostly finished in 2016, Tutor Perini said. The design and construction firm has worked with the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians for 12 years, it said.