ROHNERT PARK — Superlatives abound when describing the new 340,000-square-foot, $820 million Graton Resort & Casino that opened Nov. 5 on West Golf Course Drive.
It is the largest casino in the North Bay with 144 table games, 3,000 slot and video poker machines, an 18-table no-smoking poker room, six private gaming salons, four full-service restaurants — family-friendly with a majority accessible from outside without having to enter through the casino — and a 500-seat marketplace venue featuring nine casual dining choices. And that’s only the beginning.
There are 5,700 parking spaces, including a five-level parking garage with an elevator.
The casino is owned by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria. It is managed on behalf of the tribe by Station Casinos. It’s the Las Vegas-based gaming and hospitality division of Fertitta Entertainment, the largest Native American management company recognized as an industry leader in the design, development and operation of integrated resort and entertainment destinations.
“Every inch of the casino has been carefully designed to usher visitors into an exciting and welcoming space that balances modern contemporary design with the ultimate expression of California casual elegance,” said Lori Nelson, vice president of corporate communications for Station Casinos. “Advance public interest in the casino was overwhelming. Some 200,000 people registered for our loyalty-card program before opening day.”
The exterior emulates the region’s rolling hills with a gently curving roofline and abundant native landscaping, including stunning vertical gardens in living green walls.
Design highlights include some 11,000 yards of custom-woven carpets, featuring 28 colors inspired by Sonoma County flowers.
In addition, there are 32,000 square feet of bespoke white terrazzo flooring defining the casino pathways, accented with glass, marble, mother-of-pearl shells and mirror chips.
There are 199 chandeliers suspended over the main casino floor, including a series of 12-foot chandeliers filled with more than 24,000 red and pink glass floating “flower petals.”
The table games pit, inside the high limit table games room, is lit by a 42-foot custom chandelier with two 12-foot-wide chandeliers made of faceted baguette crystals in brilliant hues of topaz, gold and ruby.
Original artwork is displayed throughout the facility from noted artists Cassandria Blackmore, Gregg Renfro, Donald Suitan, Jimi Gleason, Eric Lee, Iris Bourne, Audra Weazer and Trang Le.
Casino columns feature 2,800 square feet of Zebrano marble, and there are 21,000 square feet of custom-painted exotic wood finishes.
The four signature restaurants include Marin Yan’s M.Y. China; Tony’s of North Beach (Tony Gemignani of San Francisco); The Daily Grill with fresh American fare, and the 630 Steak House.
The Marketplace’s nine food service vendors include DK Wings, Slice House, Boathouse Sushi & Asian Noodles, La Fondita, Scoops (featuring Petaluma-based Three Twins Ice Cream), Beach Hut Deli, Roadside BBQ, the Habit Burger Grill and Starbucks.
The casino has three lounges that serve as gathering spots for guests: Sky at Graton with a 360-degree bar, “8″ in the high-limit casino area and G Bar, a sports bar near the main entrance with 38 flat-screen TVs for watching events from the Bay Area and beyond.
The 9,000-square-foot event center is one of Sonoma County’s larger venues for elegant parties, meetings and live entertainment. It is equipped to handle 750 guests for events and 600 for parties. It has floor-to-ceiling windows and an exterior patio with fire pits.
The Graton Resort & Casino project created more than 2,000 permanent jobs, including 750 dealers. About 700 local construction jobs were created since the ground-breaking in June 2012.
More than 1,500 California companies provided goods and services for the project.
The tribe targeted 75 percent diversion of materials from disposal, with an overall zero-waste objective through on-site recycling of glass, aluminum, paper and cardboard; composting of excess food and food waste; and other reuse measures.
The resort participated in PG&E’s Savings by Design Program. By utilizing energy-efficient materials during construction, significant electricity and natural-gas savings were realized — enough for 62 homes a year. Most lighting fixtures are LED, while some are fluorescent and a few incandescent.
Design of the casino promotes an atmosphere of luck and prosperity. Guests are greeted at the entrance by a more than 6-foot-tall, 5-foot-wide, selenite and green jade sculpture used as a Feng Shui good-luck symbol.
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