Opening day is still more than month away, but on Wednesday Graton Resort & Casino opened its doors to the media for the first look inside a project that has been years in the making.
"Not only did we get it done, but you see today what $820 million gets you," said Greg Sarris, Tribal Chairman of the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria.
The 320,000 square foot casino is just off Highway 101 in Rohnert Park. It contains more than a dozen restaurants, one hundred and forty-four table games, and three thousand slot machines.
It is the largest Casino of its kind in the Bay Area and is being marketed as just a 45-minute drive from the Golden Gate Bridge.
Sarris says the Casino was designed to benefit "Indian and non-Indian alike". The Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria represent about 1,300 tribal members. The money from the casino will benefit social programs.
"So, we get more kids through college, more after-school programs, homes for our elders," said Sarris.
With building underway since June of 2012, the project created 700 local construction jobs.
Once open, the Casino will employ more than 2,000 people.
Casino management says millions of dollars will be provided to the city of Rohnert Park and Sonoma County through long-term agreements.
However, a group that opposes the casino says it will continue to fight the project.
On Wednesday, Stop Graton Casino said it will appeal an August trial court ruling in favor of the Casino. The opposition group claims the tribe has ownership but not legal jurisdiction over the property where the casino is located.
They claim a victorious appeal would shut down the casino even if it has already opened.
Graton Casino & Resort's official opening day is scheduled for November 5th.
Watchdogs are questioning an exclusive agreement between the City of Oakland and a non-profit group, tapped to lead a multi-million dollar project to redevelop the area around the Coliseum BART station.