California Casino Looks to Las Vegas for Inspiration

by Aimee Romero, Mass Media Corporate Communications

From Architectural West Sep/Oct ’10

When members of the United Auburn Indian Community decided to remodel and expand the Thunder Valley Casino Resort, Lincoln, Calif., they set out to become the first Northern California casino to offer all the elements of real Las Vegas-style gaming:  service, dining, and entertainment in an outstanding facility.  With Las Vegas luxury in mind, they put the project in the hands of Las Vegas-based PENTA Building Group.

         The expansion project, which broke ground in May 2009, included a 17-floor hotel tower with nearly 300 rooms and a new 3,800-space parking structure that leads directly into the casino and hotel.  The hotel features 40 luxury suites with whirlpool bathtubs, light-dimming systems, and state-of-the-art entertainment systems.  With some suites as large as 2,000 square feet, each suite was designed to match the elegance of the services provided by the hotel, which include special customization options such as rose petals and iced champagne in the bedroom, and a personalized selection of food and beverages or an in-room butler.

         Also completed in the expansion was a 10,000 square-foot banquet and entertainment hall, meeting rooms, bars, and a gift shop.  The hotel addition also features an expansive pool that includes private cabanas and a poolside bar, a new spa, an elaborate poker room, new retail space, a state-of-the-art fitness center, and an expanded gaming area.  “We’re proud that the completion of this project has made Thunder Valley and its many amenities a premier destination for gaming and entertainment in the region,” said Ken Alber, vice president of The PENTA Building Group. 

         Founded in 2000, PENTA is a leading regional general contractor known for its expertise in developing resort-style projects including hotel, casino, timeshare resorts, tribal gaming, convention and meeting facilities, restaurant and retail, education, public projects, parking structures, and tenant improvements.  Since the company’s inception, PENTA has been honored with many prestigious awards including “Contractor of the Year” by the Las Vegas Chapter of the Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) and Entrepreneur of the Year by In Business, Las Vegas.         

Alber credits PENTA’s success in resort remodeling and expansion projects to the project managers’ attention to detail, technical skill, and commitment to safety.  “In this tough economic climate, we are proud to have nearly 500 skilled workers on the job,” he said.  “The growth and development of our trade is based on exceeding our clients’ expectations with the completion of every project.”

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