Column: Pechanga Band offers facility to rival Las Vegas

"It’s a Friday night and the joint was jumping. The slot machines and gambling tables were packed with boisterous customers and a party atmosphere prevailed throughout the casino.

We just weren’t in Las Vegas.

On an early April weekend, a youth soccer tournament brought us to Temecula, a bedroom community about 275 miles from Las Vegas on the southern end of California’s Riverside County.

A decade ago, Temecula wasn’t anything more than a San Bernardino suburb and fuel stop for travelers along Interstate 15 on the way to San Diego.

Then the Pechanga Casino came along.

The 517-room hotel-casino could easily be mistaken for any property in Las Vegas’ locals casinos market. Its amenities and casino floor rival those offered by Station Casinos, Boyd Gaming and Cannery Casinos.

But Pechanga has also become a focal point in Temecula’s emergence as a weekend getaway for Southern Californians, possibly to the detriment of Las Vegas."

Get the Story:
Inside Gaming by Howard Stutz: Pechanga Casino rivals the Las Vegas locals market (The Las Vegas Review-Journal 4/18)