Joe Hasson is the newly appointed general manager of the Graton Resort & Casino currently being constructed by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria in northwest Rohnert Park.

The 320,000-square-foot casino building is easily from Highway 101. Construction will have employed more than 700 by the time it's complete. To be built at some future time is a 200-room hotel.

[caption id="attachment_73072" align="alignleft" width="216"] Joe Hasson[/caption]

Mr. Hasson moved his family to California just last year, but he has more than three decades of casino industry experience, often in general manager roles. In 2003 he came to Las Vegas-based Stations Casinos, developer and future operator of Graton Resort, to be general manager of Green Valley Ranch Resort then  held such positions at Sunset Station and Aliante Station, all in the Las Vegas area.

Green Valley Ranch when he arrived was doubling the number of rooms and convention space. During his time there, it earned American Automobile Association's four-diamond award four straight years, has bene named Best Locals' Casino by Las Vegas Review-Journal and was featured on Discovery Channel's and Travel Channel's reality series American Casino, on which Mr. Hasson was called "The Boss."

Before Station Casinos, Mr. Hasson was general manager at Harrah’s, Harveys and Bill’s casinos on in South Lake Tahoe, Nev., Hollywood Casino in Indiana, Harrah’s New Orleans, Harrah’s Laughlin in Nevada, Harrah’s Prairie Band in Kansas and Harrah’s Tunica in Mississippi.

Born in Atlantic City, N.J., he began his gaming career at the Harrah’s hotel there, where his assignments included hotel director, controller and audit director.

Mr. Hasson was a certified public accountant with Deloitte in Philadelphia and Atlantic City.

He is set to speak on Graton Resort project progress at Construction Conference 2013, hosted by the Business Journal in Santa Rosa on May 15. His team and he responded to Journal questions about the project and employment opportunities.What are some interesting project aspects?

Jeff Janakus, vice president of construction: Ceiling construction largely is prefabricated in a warehouse in Santa Rosa. The intricate and complex shapes of the ceiling soffits and coffers are more easily constructed in a controlled environment and then raised in large sections -- with drywall already installed in most cases.

This project is aggressive by most standards, considering the large footprint and high level of fit and finish. There will be more than 700,000 labor hours spent building the project.

Work began on the building pad in July. The total construction schedule is roughly 18 months.

Steel structure erection started in October. About 3,100 tons of structural steel was put in place over about 4 months.

The project is estimated to require almost 14,000 cubic yards of concrete that will use 500 tons of reinforcing steel.How does this project compare to others?

Joe Hasson: Graton Resort & Casino will be as large or larger than other casinos in Northern California. With more than 140 table games and 3,000 slot machines, this gaming environment will rival some of the largest casinos in Las Vegas, Northern Nevada and California.What’s the current progress toward opening?

Mr. Hasson: We’re confident that we will open this fabulous resort by the end of the year. The exterior of the facility is 85 percent enclosed. The roof is near 100 percent complete. We’re substantially working indoors now. The garage is complete to its fourth of five levels.

We’re currently recruiting a terrific team of people to join us. It will take us several months to identify and train the applicants that we’re now meeting and coming to know. Look for our forthcoming employment, marketing and updates at GratonResortCasino.com.What employment opportunities will be available?

Mr. Hasson: Two thousand jobs are a bright part of our future. That will include dealers, slot hosts, food and beverage team members, security and surveillance personnel as well as cashiers, administrative and marketing staff.